Rafael Nadal’s bid for the calendar year’s Grand Slam is over after he pulled out of Wimbledon due to a stomach injury.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion struggled through the issue of beating Taylor Fritz in five sets on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals in SW19, but scans a day later showed the severity of the injury.
Nadal was due to face Nick Kyrgios in Friday’s semifinals but his Australian opponent will now receive a free-kick into a first major final.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday night, Nadal said: “Unfortunately, as you can imagine, I’m here because I have to withdraw from the tournament.
“As everyone saw yesterday, I have a stomach ache and something was wrong. That’s confirmed, I have a muscle tear and the notification is too late.
“I’ve been thinking about the decision all day, but I think there’s no point in leaving, even if I’m trying to continue throughout my career. It’s a very difficult circumstance, but it’s obvious if I stay The injury will always worse.”
Nadal appeared to resign in his quarterfinal match against American Fritz on Wednesday night but somehow bounced back to claim a 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6(4) win after a grueling four hours and 20 minutes.
The 36-year-old was strapped to his stomach and appeared to be in so much pain at times that his father and sister gestured to him from the players’ box to end the game.
He was training at Wimbledon on Thursday afternoon but announced in a 7.20pm press conference he could not continue, ending the Australian Open and French Open champion’s hopes of winning all four Majors in the same year.
The Spaniard insisted he had made his difficult decision as the stomach problem prevented him from serving.
“I never thought about the calendar slam, I thought about my diary and my luck,” said Nadal.
“I’m making the decision because I don’t think I can win two games under these circumstances. Not only can’t I serve at the right speed, I can’t do the normal motion to serve.
“After that, to imagine winning two games and to kind of respect myself, I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough to play at the level I have to play to achieve my goals.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/tennis/rafael-nadal-pulls-out-of-wimbledon-semi-final-sending-nick-kyrgios-into-first-ever-final-41823071.html Rafael Nadal is eliminated from the Wimbledon semifinals and sends Nick Kyrgios to the final for the first time