Friday, August 12, 2022

Wimbledon 2022: Rafael Nadal withdraws from tournament due to abdominal tear ahead of semifinal match

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Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon ahead of his semifinal match against Nick Kyrgios, informing All England Club officials Thursday that he will not be able to play due to a seven-millimeter abdominal tear.

According to a report by The Times, Nadal came to his decision after going through a light 45 minute practice earlier on Thursday. Although the Spaniard was able to strike forehands and backhands without issue, he could not hit his serve at full power.

Nadal’s withdrawal from the semifinal means that Nick Kyrgios will receive a walkover into the final round of Wimbledon, where he will face either Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie.

“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, if I am here, I have to pull out from the tournament,” Nadal said at the All England Club. “As everybody saw yesterday, I had been suffering with pain in the abdominal. I was not OK there, as yesterday I said. That’s confirmed. I have a tear in the muscle in the abdominal. … I was thinking during the whole day about the decision to make. … It’s obvious that if I keep going the injury’s gonna be worse and worse. That’s the thing I can say now and feel very sad to say that.”

Nadal had been uncertain as to whether or not he could play in the semifinal after suffering his injury in his quarterfinal win over Taylor Fritz. Nadal was visibly in pain during the match, and afterwards admitted that he considered retiring at various points during the match due to the pain he was experiencing.

Nadal’s abdominal injury and subsequent withdrawal marks another frustrating injury setback for the 36-year-old star. He has recently struggled with injuries, particularly a foot injury that ended his 2021 season prematurely. 

This also ends Nadal’s hopes for a calendar Grand Slam — a rarity in the sport. He had already won the Australian Open and the French Open this year entering Wimbledon. With the withdrawal, Rod Laver remains the only man to pull off the feat, which he did in 1969.

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