Rafael Nadal has expressed some doubts about his ability to recover from an injury sustained in his win over Taylor Fritz.
Rafael Nadal survived a stomach injury and great play from Taylor Fritz to advance to the Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.
Nadal looked down and outside when he left the field halfway through the game for a medical time-out, while he fought against an apparent belly injury.
But the Spanish legend showed his famous fighting spirit to come back from two sets to one deficit in a 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 classic.
“Many moments I thought I couldn’t finish the competition, but the audience, the energy, thank you,” said the Spaniard on the field.
“I really enjoy playing games like this for you guys. I can’t thank you enough for the support.”
Nadal is now planned to play against Kyrgios on Friday evening after the Australian victory in three sets against Cristian Garin.
But he seemed to express some doubt about his ability to recover on time.
“First of all, I hope to be ready to play,” said Nadal. “Nick is a great player on all surfaces, but especially here on grass. He is having a great lawn season. It will be a big challenge and I have to be 100 percent.”
Nadal later revealed that he would undergo “more tests” for his injury and until then could not confirm that he would play.
“I had these feelings for a few days, but today was without a doubt the worst day, it was a significant increase in pain and disability. I managed to win that competition, but we will see what’s going on tomorrow, “he said.
“I can’t give you a straight answer because if I give you a straight answer and something else happens tomorrow, then I’m a liar.”
Kyrgios described a potential match against Nadal as a “delightful encounter”.
“It is clear that we are two very different personalities, but we respect each other enormously,” said Kyrgios. “That would probably be the most watched game of all time. I would contradict that. “
A pumped Nadal raced the blocks to take a 3-1 lead, but then lost five consecutive games of the 11th series to lose the first set.
The players exchanged the breaks in the second set, but Nadal did not move free and with a 4-3 lead he sat down in his chair and shook his head to his team.
The trainer came into action before Nadal left the field for a medical time-out to treat his injury.
When he returned, Fritz served to love, while Nadal’s movement still looked impeded.
But the Spaniard kept his service comfortable twice and led 6-5 and a backhand volley in the open field sealed the second set, to the crowd of the audience.
Nadal, 36, now moved more freely, but the pendulum swung again early in the third set when the two-time Wimbledon winner committed a double foul to give his American opponent a break.
The trainer returned, this time to tie his Fritz ‘left thigh and the American resumed the game and broke again to take the third set.
There were five breaks in a tumultuous fourth set, with both players struggling for consistency in their serve, but Nadal came out on top to equalize.
The first six games of the deciding set were served before Nadal produced a backhand dropshot winner to break after a hard-fought seventh game.
Fritz immediately broke back when Nadal scored with a backhand. The set went to a tie-break and Nadal seized control, racing to a 9-3 lead and completing the win on his second match point.
Nadal, who has already won the Australian Open and French Open this year, is halfway through a man’s first Grand Slam calendar since Rod Laver in 1969.
He also offers to win his 23rd Grand Slam title and to match Serena Williams in second place on the list of all time for most Grand Slam titles. Margaret Court is the leader on 24 titles.
– With AFP
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