The change of heart that led to Nadal .’s historic departure

Rafael Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon due to a torn abdominal muscle, a day before he was to play Nick Kyrgios in the semi-final.

It is the first time since 1931 that a man has withdrawn from the oldest Grand Slam tournament for a semi-final or final.

READ MORE: Storm’s Smith turns on audience after sin bin

AS IT HAPPENED: Sharks defeat Storm in stunning victory

READ MORE: Wimbledon in shock as Nadal withdraws

Reports in Spain earlier on Thursday night (AEST) indicated that a scan revealed that Nadal had suffered a 7mm abdominal tear but was hoping to play.

The 36-year-old then hit the practice courts but was badly hit by the injury and later confirmed the news of the tear at a hastily arranged press conference

“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, I am here because I have to withdraw from the tournament. As everyone saw yesterday, I suffer from pain in the abdomen and something was not right there. That has been confirmed, I have a tear in the muscle and communication is too late.

Watch Wimbledon live and for free on 9Now and every point of every match ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sports

“I thought all day long about the decision I had to make, but I think there’s no point in going, even if I try to go through my whole career. It’s very difficult circumstances, but it’s clear when I stay as you go, the injury will get worse and worse.

“I made my decision because I don’t think I can win two games under these circumstances. ‘I cannot serve. It’s not just that I can’t serve with the right speed, it’s also that I can’t make the normal movement to serve.”

The 22-time great champion sighed every now and then as he answered questions in English and then Spanish, totaling over 20 minutes. He twice described himself as ‘very sad’.

The only other time in his career that Nadal gave an opponent a walkover by withdrawing from a pre-match Grand Slam tournament was at the 2016 French Open, when he withdrew from the third round due to a injured left wrist.

Kyrgios wished Nadal a speedy recovery on Instagram, saying he and the Spanish great were “different players, different personalities”.

“I hope your recovery is speedy and we hope to see you all healthy soon,” he wrote, signing, “until next time…”

40th seeded Kyrgios, a 27-year-old from Australia, advanced to his first major tournament title match, becoming the first unseeded men’s finalist at Wimbledon since Mark Philippoussis, who lost to Roger Federer in 2003.

Kyrgios will face three-time defending champions and No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic or No. 9 Cam Norrie of Great Britain for the championship on Sunday; their semi-final will be played on Friday.

Second-seeded Nadal, a 36-year-old from Spain, is 19-0 in Grand Slam action in 2022, including trophies at the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June. That brought him to Grand Slam for the first time in his career halfway through a calendar year.

Nadal has been struggling with a stomach ache for about a week and the pain became almost unbearable in the first set of his 4hr 21min win over the fifth set tiebreaker against Taylor Fritz in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

After that game, Nadal said he had considered quitting before it was over – and couldn’t be sure if he would feel well enough to play again on Friday.

He wore two strips of sports tape on his lower abdomen and took medical time out to take pain-relieving pills; his father and sister gestured from the stands for him to stop.

On Thursday’s day off, Nadal went to the All England Club for light practice. He was registered on the official schedule to train at one of the championship courts but did not show up there, opting instead for practice courts that fans cannot access.

Nadal was mostly satisfied hitting forehands and backhands, but tried to serve a few times — the part of his game that exposed the most obvious inability to play at full power and, he said, the most caused discomfort to Fritz. Those Thursday practice services were generally used, by Nadal’s standards, not with the force he usually uses.

It’s not far from what happened to Nadal at Roland Garros, where he received repeated injections to numb the chronic pain in his left foot and insisted he had no idea when he would reach the point where he wouldn’t be able to go to court. .

He tried another treatment after he left Paris, and it worked well enough, Nadal said, to let him walk without a limp.

His playing level in five matches on the grass at Wimbledon was such that he thought he had a shot at a third title at the tournament, after those in 2008 and 2010.

The injury, of course, changed things.

“I never thought about the calendar stroke, I thought about my diary and my luck,” Nadal said. “I’m making the decision because I don’t believe I can win two games under the circumstances. It’s not just that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s also that I can’t do the normal movement to serve.

“After that, to imagine I win two games and somehow out of respect for myself, I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough to play at the level I need to play to achieve my goals.” to achieve.”

Nadal said he thought he would be sidelined for about a month. The last Grand Slam tournament of the year, the US Open, starts on August 29.

For a daily dose of the best of the latest news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter at click here

#change #heart #led #Nadal #historic #departure

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *