Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Wimbledon Championships on Thursday with an abdominal injury. The Spaniard was due to take on Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals on Friday, but announced he was unable to play because of a tear in his abdominal muscle. Now, Kyrgios will go head-to-head with the world number three Novak Djokovic, who came out victorious from his semi-final battle with British number one Cameron Norrie.
John McEnroe blasted Royal Family’s role at Wimbledon in furious rant
Nadal had not taken part in the SW19 tournament since 2019 having experienced a recurring foot injury that he received special treatment for before participating in this year’s Wimbledon.
Currently ranked 4th in the world, Nadal has earned his place in tennis’ hall of fame.
And it appears that the 36-year-old has had to make some sacrifices to garner such success, including declining a rare invitation from Queen Elizabeth II.
Back in 2010, Nadal admitted to turning down an opportunity to meet the Queen because he wanted to focus on his Wimbledon second round match.
Rafael Nadal snubbed the Queen after declining an invitation from the monarch.
Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand
Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand against Taylor Fritz of the United States. (Image: Getty Images)
He had been invited to spend time with Her Majesty during her rare visit to the All England Club.
The Queen has not shown much interest in tennis, having only attended Wimbledon four times, the occasion marking her fourth and final visit to the club — also the first time she had attended since 1977.
Despite being offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Nadal decided it was too risky to disrupt his pre-match routine before a battle with Holland’s Robin Haase.
He was concerned that he might be left with too little time to prepare for the clash — which was scheduled as the last match of the day — if he met the monarch and played the matches.
Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Kent
“I knew it was going to be a very difficult match. I had to practice around then, so it was impossible for me [to meet the Queen].
“I have my routines. Before the match, it is very difficult when you don’t know when you’re going to play.
“You have the third match but if some injury happens there, you are on court before.
The Queen meets Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic.
“I had to practice at that time, so it was impossible for me to meet her at that moment.”
The tennis star had hoped the Queen would stay to watch his match, but the then 86-year-old Sovereign left after witnessing the victory of Britain’s Andy Murray.
Nadal said: “Seriously, I thought the Queen was going to be at my match and I would love to have the chance to meet her after the match. But it wasn’t possible because I think the Queen left before.
“For me it was disappointing. I was excited to meet her but it was a very important match for me too.”
The monarch meets Andy Murray and Jarkko Nieminen.
The monarch meets Andy Murray and Jarkko Nieminen. (Image: Getty Images)
He was adamant that his absence at lunchtime was in no disrespect to the Queen as he had to “do what I think is best to win the match.”
He appeared to make the right decision, as the Spaniard emerged from his battle with Robin Haase victorious.
Nadal then breezed through the third and fourth rounds, beating Germany’s Philipp Petzschner and France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu.
He secured his place in the semi-finals when he won his quarter-finals match against Swedish Robin Söderling, and went through to the finals after defeating Andy Murray.
And, days later, Nadal took home his second Wimbledon win when he defeated Czech Tomáš Berdych 6–3, 7–5, 6–4 in the final.