Fabio Fognini speaks out after receiving criticism for comments on Rafael Nadal

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Fabio Fognini speaks out after receiving criticism for comments on Rafael Nadal

Fabio Fognini has taken to social media to defend himself as he insists he wasn't taking shots at Rafael Nadal following the Spaniard's victory over Taylor Fritz. On Wednesday, Nadal overcame an abdominal injury to edge out Taylor Fritz in five sets.

After the match, posted an Italian headline on his Instagram story in which it was noted that Nadal played injured versus Fritz. Fognini captioned his Instagram story: "For sure - 4h20. Guys stop believe in what you read PLEASE!"

Fognini's comments spread like wildfire as many believed the Italian was suggesting that Nadal faked an injury. After receiving criticism, Fognini released a statement.

Fognini: I wasn't taking shots at Nadal

"Dear journalists, I would like to tell you that I have never, ever referred to a champion like Rafa. And I could never afford it. It’s time to stop writing and reporting everything you want wrong.

I wish Rafa and his team good luck for this Wimbledon ending," Fognini wrote on Instagram, per Mario Boccardi.

Meanwhile, Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon on Thursday.

On Thursday, Nadal called a press conference. The moment Nadal called a press conference, it was clear he was planning to withdraw from his Wimbledon semifinal versus Nick Kyrgios. Nadal sustained an abdominal tear and he felt he wouldn't be in the best position to win the next two matches.

"Unfortunately, as you can imagine if I am here, I have to pull out from the tournament, no?" Nadal said in a press conference he held on Thursday at Wimbledon. "As everybody saw yesterday, I have been suffering with the pain in abdominal.

Even if I tried lot of times during my career to keep going under very tough circumstances, in that one I think it's obvious that if I keep going, the injury going to be worst and worst. That's the thing that I can say now. Feel very sad to say that."