Novak Djokovic praised Rafael Nadal for refusing to retire his Wimbledon quarterfinal despite being injury as he thought it was impressive that the Spaniard was able to finish his match and also end on the winning side. In the second set of his quarterfinal match versus Taylor Fritz, Nadal required an off-court medical timeout.
Nadal was clearly hampered by an abdominal injury but still managed to finish the match and beat Fritz in five sets in over four hours of play. The following day, the scans revealed an abdominal tear and Nadal was forced to give Nick Kyrgios a walkover in their semifinal match.
“Injury is the greatest enemy of every athlete,” Djokovic said, per Sportskeeda. “Kudos to Nadal for being able to play that quarterfinal match to the end with that injury. He knows his body and capabilities best, and whether he should have played or not is up to him.
It’s really a shame for a tournament like this that there is no second semi-final, but that’s how it is.”
Djokovic praised Nadal for his competitive spirit
Nadal gave his best to finish the Fritz match but that was his limit.
After receiving the scan results, Nadal realized he wouldn’t be able to play at his best versus Kyrgios and realized it would be almost impossible to win two best-of-five-sets matches in the rest of the tournament with such an injury.
“I can’t imagine myself winning two matches and for respect to myself in some way I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough,” Nadal said. “A couple of weeks ago I saw my career very different because of the foot injury.
The most important thing is happiness more than any titles. I can’t risk that match and stay two or three months out of the competition. I am very sad and it is a very tough one.”