Instead of facing Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon semi-final, Rafael Nadal withdrew due to an abdominal injury and went home. Rafa went back home to Barcelona to undergo more tests, and he should be back on the court in three or four weeks.
Nadal will not practice his serve in the following month, and he still hopes to get ready for the season’s last Major at the US Open. Rafa’s foot was fine in London, but he tore his abdomen and could play at his best.
The Spaniard passed four rivals to reach the quarter-final, facing Taylor Fritz in a battle for the semis. Nadal took down the American 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 in four hours and 20 minutes, giving his everything to finish the match and prevailing in the deciding match tie break.
As it turned out, it was the last Wimbledon match for Rafa this year, revealing a seven-millimeter tear in his abdomen and feeling it would be pointless to step on the court on Friday against Nick Kyrgios.
Rafael Nadal was forced to withdrew from Wimbledon.
Rafa and Taylor won the same number of points and created 14 break points each to stay neck and neck for over four hours.
Taylor came from 3-1 down in the opening set and rattled off five straight games for 6-3 and a boost. Rafa built the advantage in the second set before the youngster moved back to 3-3. Both players served well in the following games, and Fritz served to stay in the set at 5-6.
Nadal grabbed a late break to secure the set and level the overall score. Fritz took charge in the third set and grabbed a couple of breaks in games three and nine for 6-3 and a new advantage. Nadal spoke with the doctor and opted to fight until the end despite the pain.
The rivals traded three breaks at the start of the fourth set, and Rafa moved 4-2 ahead after a comfortable hold. Fritz broke back in game eight and locked the result at 4-4 for more drama, standing two games away from victory.
The Spaniard forced the rival’s mistake in the 11th game to open a 6-5 gap and held at love with a forehand winner in the next one to force a decider. Both players served well at the start of the fifth set before Rafa converted the fourth break chance with a drop shot winner for a 4-3 lead.
Taylor broke back in the next one and moved 5-4 up with a backhand crosscourt winner. Rafa served to stay in the match and landed a perfect volley winner for 5-5. The encounter went into a deciding tie break, and Nadal gained a 7-3 lead after a volley winner.
A forehand down the line winner at 8-3 offered Nadal six match points, and he seized the second with a forehand winner to emerge at the top.