For Philipp Kohlschreiber, August 1, 2018 is a day he will not forget. In the morning, he married his longtime girlfriend, Lena Alberti. In the afternoon, he was in Kitzbühel playing his second round match against Denis Istomin.
The story reflects the commitment of the German in his 20-year career on the ATP Tour, which put the finishing touch on him at the recent edition of Wimbledon. "It's something unique," Kohlschreiber told ATPTour of his wedding.
“He had been a bit sick, so he hadn't been able to play the day before. He needed to rest a bit more to be ready for Kitzbühel (where he was defending the title)”. “When you are a professional, you do everything for your sport… You have to find a good date for your wedding, so that it is easy to remember.
So August 1, 2018 is always very easy for me. In that case, the wedding was a bit more important!” he joked. The announcement of his retirement came spontaneously, after his first-round victory in Wimbledon qualifying against Gregoire Barrere.
For the 38-year-old German it is just a demonstration of how convinced he was with the decision he had made. "It was fun, I didn't really plan on announcing it," Kohlschreiber said. “They asked me what was next and I just said that there was nothing else, that it was my last tournament.
I had no intention of going to Wimbledon and saying maybe yes or maybe no. Rafael Nadal was looking good to continue his red-hot Grand Slam winning streak this year at the Wimbledon Championships.
Rafa Nadal had to retire
Toni Nadal wrote a column in El Pais about his nephew's injury and fitness situation over the years.
"First of all, Rafael Nadal has an ability to endure suffering and to overcome extraordinary difficulty," Toni said. "Already in 2005 he had to accept and internalize the pain in order to continue with his sports career. If we had given credit to the seriousness of his congenital injury, he would have retired in those early days and would not have even lifted the 2006 Roland Garros." The 61-year-old also said that Rafael Nadal cannot think of giving up in the face of difficulty because he is not used to it.
"And finally, his style of play has always been based on finding solutions to change the trajectory of a match that is going uphill for him, whether the difficulties are caused by his opponents or by his own problems," Toni Nadal continued. "Rafael cannot think of giving up in the face of difficulty, simply because he is not used to it."