Rafael Nadal shows class with heartwarming gesture before leaving Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal was his classy self while leaving Wimbledon as he thanked several members of the tournament’s staff before exiting SW19 for the final time this season. The Spaniard was forced to rule himself out of the rest of the tournament due to an abdominal injury he suffered in his quarter-final victory over Taylor Fritz.

Spotted in a video from Spanish TV station RTVE, as Nadal left he made sure to stop and thank the staff members for their help during his time in Wimbledon and posed for several photos. After spending some time with fans and staff that he got to know during his time at the tournament, he ended with a message. “Thank you so much for everything,” Nadal said. “Hope to see you next year.”

The 22-time Grand Slam champion aggravated an abdomen injury he had been suffering from, and called a press conference on Thursday to announce his withdrawal from the tournament ahead of a semi-final with Nick Kyrgios, who was awarded a walkover to the final.

“I have to pull out from the tournament,” Nadal told reporters. “As everybody saw yesterday I have been suffering with the pain in the abdominal, I know something was not okay there as yesterday I said and yeah, that’s confirmed I have a tear in the muscle, in the abdominal.

“The communication is too late because even like that I was thinking the whole day about the decision to make but I think it doesn’t make sense to go, even if I tried a lot in my career to keep going.
“Very tough circumstances in that one I think it’s obvious if I keep going the injury is gonna get worse and worse. I made this decision because I can’t be competitive and win the next two matches. I don’t want to make things worse, but I am very sad.”

Kyrgios will face Novak Djokovic in the final after the Serbian defeated Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court. The Australian revealed that he was at dinner when he found out the news that he would not be facing Nadal on Friday, and that he was full of mixed emotions.

“As a competitor, I really did want that match,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I beat Garin I knew Rafa was a high possibility. I really did want to see how the third chapter was going to go. I just hope he recovers. My first feeling was a bit disappointed.”

Kyrgios posted a message to Nadal on Instagram hoping that the Spaniard’s recovery goes well and he hopes to see the 36-year-old back on the court soon. “Different players, different personalities,” Kyrgios posted with a photo of him and Nadal. “@rafaelnadal I hope your recovery goes well and we all hope to see you healthy soon. Till next time….”

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