Injured Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon ahead of Kyrgios semifinal blockbuster

London, Jul 7 (EFE).- Spain’s Rafael Nadal told reporters Thursday he has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to an abdominal injury that flared up during his quarterfinal win over American Taylor Fritz.

The No. 2 seed made the announcement on the eve of what would have been a blockbuster semifinal against big-serving Australian Nick Kyrgios, who has now advanced to his first Grand Slam championship match at the age of 27.

“Unfortunately … I have to pull out from the tournament. As everybody saw yesterday (in his dramatic five-set win over Fritz), I have been suffering with pain in the abdominal (muscle) … That’s confirmed. I have a tear in the muscle,” the two-time Wimbledon champion and winner of a record 22 Grand Slam titles said at a press conference.

“It’s obvious that if I keep going the injury is going to be worse and worse.”

In response to a reporter’s question about the primary reason for withdrawing, Nadal added that, “I made my decision because I believe that I can’t win two matches under these circumstances … I can’t do the normal movement to serve.”

“And for respect to myself, in some way I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough to play at the level that I need to play to achieve my goal.”

The 36-year-old Nadal, who won this year’s Australian Open and French Open and could have completed an extremely rare, so-called calendar-year Grand Slam by capturing the Wimbledon and US Open titles, said that potential feat was not on his mind either before or after his arrival at the All England Club.

He said he has been struggling with the abdominal injury for a week and that he expects to need about three to four weeks to fully recover.

“So I hope this three- or four-week (recovery period) will allow me to do my normal calendar … In one week, I’m gonna be able to play from the baseline, not serving,” Nadal added.

In Sunday’s men’s singles championship match, the unseeded Kyrgios will take on the winner of Friday’s lone men’s semifinal contest pitting six-time champion and top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia against the United Kingdom’s Cameron Norrie, the No. 9 seed. EFE


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