Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon ahead of Nick Kyrgios Semi-Final

Jamie Shaw in Wimbledon 07 Jul 2022
Nadal bends to relieve the strain on is abdominal muscles (Credit: Adam Stoltman/Alamy Live News)

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon 2022 through injury on the eve of his Semi-Final clash with Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal was visibly struggling with an abdominal injury during his Quarter-Final contest against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday, but pushed through the pain barrier to win a five-set thriller.

The 36-year-old returned to the practice court at SW19 on Thursday for light training but showed further signs of discomfort when serving.

Nadal confirmed he has suffered a tear in his abdominal muscle which means he would not be able to be competitive over a further potential two matches in the space of three days.

His withdrawal means Kyrgios receives a bye into his first Grand Slam final – where either Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie await.

“Throughout the whole day I have been thinking about the decision to make,” said Nadal.

“I think it doesn’t make sense to play. I feel very sad to say that.

“I can’t imagine myself winning two matches and for respect to myself in some way I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough.

“A couple of weeks ago I saw my career very different because of the foot injury.

“The most important thing is happiness more than any titles. I can’t risk that match and stay two or three months out of the competition.

“I am very sad and it is a very tough one.”

Nadal, who picked up the Australian Open and French Open titles earlier in the year, was bidding to make it a hat-trick of Grand Slams and take his overall tally to 23.

He has suffered numerous injury setbacks already this season, including a rib problem at Indian Wells and a recurrence of a longstanding foot injury at Roland Garros.

The Spaniard ignored calls from his father and sister to quit during his match against Fritz but insisted he had no regrets over the decision to continue.

The all-time record Grand Slam holder will now aim to get back to full fitness in time for the US Open at Flushing Meadows later next month.

Kyrgios swept aside Chile’s Cristian Garin in straight sets on Wednesday to break new ground and Nadal’s withdrawal means he will have three days’ rest prior to Sunday’s showpiece.

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