Nick Kyrgios Into Wimbledon Final After Nadal Pulls Out Of Semi-Final - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Nick Kyrgios Into Wimbledon Final After Nadal Pulls Out Of Semi-Final

After suffering an abdominal tear in quarter-final with Taylor Fritz, Nadal has pulled out of the semi-final against Kyrgios. Now, the Aussie will play in his first grand slam final.

Any time Rafael Nadal steps out onto the court, audiences have come to not only expect greatness, but a fight that will be forever forged in their collective consciousness, a reminder that what they are witnessing is not to be taken for granted. Regardless of his physical condition, Nadal has somehow managed to persevere through nothing but sheer determination and resilience. It’s clear that the player we are seeing take to the court these days is one who is battling a number of injuries, many of which have threatened his career and raised questions about an imminent retirement. And yet, he continues to defy expectations, even reaching the Wimbledon semi-final. 

But while many of us had hoped to see the Spaniard achieve the incredible feat of a calendar grand slam, such lofty ambitions have been dashed after Nadal suffered an abdominal strain during his quarter-final win against Taylor Fritz, forcing him to now withdraw from the semi-final match-up against Nick Kyrgios. 

It’s a devastating blow for Nadal, who had won the first two grand slam tournaments of the year for the first time in his career. He arrived at the semi-final with a 19-match winning streak at major events. Sadly, the abdominal tear was too great an injury to play through, with Spanish newspaper Marca reporting that the tear was 7mm. “I can’t serve. Is not only that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s that I can’t do the normal movement to serve,” said Nadal. 

Nadal underwent scans on Thursday morning, only to return in the afternoon for a training session at Aorangi Park. Though he worked on his groundstrokes, when attention turned to his serve, his movements became tentative as he tried to adjust his motion to diminish the pain caused by the injury. His team later had a sombre discussion on the court, before the tennis star made the decision to withdraw. 

“The communication is too late because even like that I was thinking during the whole day about the decision to make,” he said. “But I think it doesn’t make sense to go. Even if I tried a lot of times during my career to keep going under very tough circumstances, in that one I think it’s obvious that if I keep going, the injury going to be worse and worse.”

In a professional run that has continued to be plagued by injuries, Nadal has now withdrawn from 12 slam events over the course of his career. Despite winning his first 20 matches of the season this year, his clay season was disturbed by a stress fracture in one of his ribs, only to be followed by his degenerative foot injury around the French Open. After all the hard work and training to see him recover in time for Wimbledon, it’s devastating that a new injury forced him out. 

“I did all the things the best way possible to give myself a chance here. I am in the semi-finals, so I’m playing very well the last couple of days,” said Nadal. “Especially yesterday, at the beginning of the match, playing at a very, very high level. Even that makes me feel little bit worst because I felt that playing at the level that I was playing, probably I will have a chance.”

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Nadal remains hopeful about his future and isn’t ruling anything out. Rather, he’s focused on recovery for the injury which should take three to four weeks, allowing him to get back to training without serving, within the next week. “As I always said, for me the most important thing is happiness more than any title, even if everybody knows how much effort I put to be here,” he said. “But I can’t risk that match and stay two, three months outside of the competition because that’s going to be a tough thing for me.”

Nadal’s withdrawal means Kyrgios will now play in his first Grand Slam final, where he will face either Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie. He’s the first player in the open era to reach a grand slam final with a walkover and the first Australian to play for a major title since Mark Philippoussis in 2003. 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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