Tennis world were robbed of what could have been a blockbuster Wimbledon final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on Sunday on Centre Court with two-time champion pulling out of the tournament with an abdominal injury earlier this week before an even-more-anticipated clash against Nick Kyrgios in the semis. And ahead of his eighth final at the All England Club, Djokovic had his say on Nadal’s announcement before making a huge injury revelation ahead of the final against Kyrgios. (Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios Wimbledon 2022 Final Live Score).
Nadal had aggravated his abdominal injury as he reportedly suffered a 7 millimetre tear during his nail-biting five-setter quarterfinal tie against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday. But despite the inspiring win that helped him maintain his unbeaten record in Wimbledon quarters, Nadal opted to pull out citing that it could end in a career-threatening injury if he goes ahead to play Kyrgios in the semis.
On Saturday, ahead of the summit clash, Djokovic recalled a similar injury that he had incurred during ahead of his third-round match against Fritz in Australian Open 2021 and compared his situation with that of Nadal’s
“I do not know what exactly is the nature of Rafa’s injury. I heard that it is an abdominal muscle tear, but I do not know which muscle. I tore an oblique muscle on my left side during the match against Fritz. It is clear that it is extremely hard to play under those conditions, but the whole process depends on where exactly the tear is. Personally, I had the most pain while serving”, Djokovic said.
The Serb went on to add: “Together with my physiotherapist Uli, we managed to handle it to a degree that allowed me to play. Although it sounds crazy, I felt better as the time went by. An MRI scan showed that the tear got bigger, but we managed to numb the pain – I was not feeling it during matches, which allowed me to go all the way”.
The 35-year-old was however full of praise for Nadal and the way he b attled through pain to win the quarter-final tie.
“Injuries are the worst enemy of every athlete. I give Nadal a lot of credit for the way he fought and won that quarterfinals match with that injury. He is the one who knows his body the best, so the decision whether to continue or not was always up to him. It is very sad that a tournament so big as Wimbledon did not have a second semi-final, but it is what it is”.
Djokovic further added that the entire his entire 2021 Australian Open campaign was recorded as part of a documentary that will be released later this year.