Rafael Nadal will not play against Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon semi-final, withdrawing from an abdominal injury. Nadal dealt with stomach pain since the start of the tournament, struggling to serve properly and not performing at his best.
Rafa battled past five rivals to enter his eighth Wimbledon semi-final, but he decided to end his campaign and not challenge Kyrgios in the semis. Nadal suffered a lot against Taylor Fritz in the quarter-final, beating him 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 in four hours and 20 minutes after an epic battle.
On Thursday, Rafa revealed that he has a seven-millimeter abdominal tear and still tried to practice and prepare for the semi-final clash. Still, the pain proved too strong, and Nadal withdrew from a Major event for the first time since Roland Garros 2016.
Nadal lost the opening set to Fritz despite building a 3-1 lead, dropping five consecutive games to propel the American in front.
Rafael Nadal is not ready to face Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon semi-final.
The Spaniard moved 3-0 up in the second set before the youngster erased the deficit and stayed on level terms with a better-ranked opponent until game 12.
Rafa broke at 6-5 with a volley winner at the net to wrap up the set and gain a boost. The American played well in the third set, keeping his serve safe and breaking Rafa in games three and nine for 6-3 and a massive lead. Nadal spoke with the doctor and decided to continue and at least try to finish the duel without retiring.
The rivals traded three breaks at the start of the set, and Rafa moved 4-2 ahead after a comfortable hold before Fritz broke in game eight and locked the result at 4-4. The Spaniard forced the rival's mistake in the 11th game to move 6-5 ahead and held at love with a forehand winner to force a decider.
Both players served well at the start of the fifth set before Rafa converted the fourth break chance with a drop shot winner for 4-3. Taylor broke back in the next one and moved 5-4 up with a backhand crosscourt winner. Rafa served to stay in the match and landed a perfect volley winner at the net for 5-5.
Both players served well in games 11 and 12 to introduce a tie break. Nadal gained a 7-3 lead after an extended rally and a volley winner. A forehand down the line winner at 8-3 offered Nadal six match points, and he seized the second with a forehand winner to emerge at the top.
Thus, Rafa misses a chance of winning the third consecutive Major title after conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros earlier this year.