Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his Wimbledon semi-final on Friday because of a torn abdominal muscle, announcing his decision a day before he was supposed to meet Nick Kyrgios for a place in the final.
“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, if I am here, it’s because I have to pull out from the tournament,” Nadal, a 2 time Wimbledon champion, said during a news conference at the All England Club on Thursday evening having had a tentative practice session earlier in the afternoon.
“As everyone saw yesterday, I have been suffering with a pain in the abdominal and something was not OK there. That is confirmed, I have a tear in the muscle and the communication is too late.
“I was thinking the whole day; I was thinking about the decision to make but I think it doesn’t make sense to go, even if I try through my career to keep going. It is very tough circumstances, but it is obvious if I keep going the injury will be worse and worse.”
Kyrgio consequently advances to his first major final where he awaits either the topseedd Novak Djokovic or the British No.1 Cameron Norrie who play their semi tomorrow, Friday.
The second-seeded36-year-old from Spain, Nadal, is 19-0 in Grand Slam for the season having won both the Australian and French Opens and his withdrawal from Wimbledon has scuppered the possibility of him winning a Calendar Grand Slam this year.
Nadal has been bothered by a stomach muscle for about a week, and the pain became nearly unbearable in the first set of his 4-hour, 21-minute victory via fifth-set tiebreaker against Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
After that match, Nadal said he had considered stopping. He took a medical timeout to take painkilling pills and his father and sister motioned from the stands for him to quit.
Nadal is renown for his fighting spirit but acknowledge that if he doesn’t have a chance of winning two matches, then there is no point in continuing.
During the afternoon session he was happy hitting ground strokes but found serving difficult and without that firing to its full potential, his continued participation would be a lost cause.