Rafael Nadal has withdrawn ahead of his Wimbledon semifinal clash with Nick Kyrgios on Friday. The Spaniard was on for a calendar Grand Slam but a seven-millimeter abdominal tear has now dashed those hopes.
“I have to pull out from the tournament,” Nadal opened his Thursday night press conference
“As everybody saw yesterday, I have been suffering with the pain in the abdominal. I know something was not okay there,” the Spaniard continued as he confirmed his withdrawal from the tournament.
Nick Kyrgios will receive a walkover into the Wimbledon final, facing Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie. This would have been the Australian’s first slam semifinal.
Nadal was clearly hampered by injury in his comeback victory over Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals, but he gutted out an impressive win. An abdominal injury impacted his serving ability and his movement at times.
The Spaniard announced his withdrawal from the event in a press conference Thursday evening in London, well after the conclusion of Thursday’s women’s semifinals.
Nadal was looking to reach his first Wimbledon final in over a decade, last closing out the tournament on Centre Court in 2011.
Kyrgios now becomes the first Australian man to reach a Major final in over 17 years since Lleyton Hewitt’s 2005 Australian Open run.
What’s Next for Nadal?
The 36-year-old will almost certainly try to be back for the US Open, saying that he expects the recovery to last “between three-four weeks” and that he expects to “play the calendar I want to do” in the press conference.
This would mean Nadal could be back at the Masters 1000 in Montreal but do not be surprised if this timetable changes as the US Open Series gets closer.
Novak Djokovic’s larger 25mm tear at the 2021 Australian Open saw him return to the tour in Monte Carlo in less than two months, though these are different injuries as the Serb seemed nowhere near as limited during his title run.
Kyrgios’ Big Chance
The 27-year-old believed the “ship had sailed” as far as his chances of reaching a slam semifinal and will now get the chance to compete against Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie in the Wimbledon final on Sunday.
Love him or hate him, Nick Kyrgios is box office and this Wimbledon final will certainly be one that will stick in the minds of tennis fans for a long time.
Main Photo from Getty.