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“I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough” – Rafael Nadal OUT of Wimbledon with abdominal injury

The injury Nadal sustained on Wednesday is too painful for him to continue in the tournament

Rafael Nadal Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to an abdominal injury. In a press conference on Thursday evening in London, the 22-time Grand Slam champion confirmed he would not be able to play his scheduled semi-final against Nick Kyrgios – who now receives a walkover into the final, where he will face either Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie.

Nadal abandons his chance to become the first man to win the coveted calendar-year Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. He is 19-0 at the Grand Slams thus far in 2022 after winning the Australian Open and Roland-Garros.

Nadal once again said that a calendar Slam was not a goal for him.

“No, I never thought about the calendar slam. I thought about my daily happiness and my daily work. Just play for the things that I really feel like.”

The Spaniard says the primary concern was avoiding making his current injury worse than it already is.

“It’s obvious that if I keep going, the injury is going to be worse and worse,” said Nadal. “To imagine myself winning two matches, and for respect to myself in some way, I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough. I made the decision that I can’t win two matches under these circumstances. In this particular case, it’s not like the foot… In this particular case it’s that if I keep going the injury is going to be increasing… “

I had some issues in abdominals since a week, but the things were more or less we were able to control it. But yesterday was the worst day.

Rafael Nadal

The injury surfaced a week ago and increased in a decisive way during Fritz’ quarter-final, Nadal revealed.

“Well, I had some issues in abdominals since a week, but the things were more or less we were able to control it,” he said. “But yesterday was the worst day, no? Honestly during the week I did tests to see how the things evolves. It’s obvious that yesterday after the match, this very small thing that I had days ago, increased to a bigger thing.

“Yesterday, in the game that I was serving 3-1 to 3-2, I think was the moment that I start to feel the things were going worse. Then serving, if I was not wrong, 4-3 the thing starts to be much worse. I found a way, more or less, slowing down the speed and changing the movement on the serve. I was able to find a way to probably not increase the injury that much, and to be able to finish the match.”

Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon 2022, photo
Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2022 (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Nadal optimistic for the US swing

The Spaniard says he feels he can play during the US swing.

“Usually it takes three, four weeks to recover from these types of injuries, which would allow me to keep the planned schedule,” he said. “In a week, I should be able to practice from the baseline, without serving.”

Before Wimbledon Nadal had expressed his desire to start his North American hard court swing in Canada. “My logic is to play first the Masters 1000 in Canada, and then take stock,” Nadal said last month. “You know that things are not predictable for me. I’m ready to accept things as they will come and take the best decisions possible.”

Nadal missed the 2020 and 2021 US Open, having won two of the previous three editions. Indeed, his ongoing chronic foot condition caused him to end his 2021 season in August. But he seems intent on playing in New York this season, and even hinted that he will get back on the court in a week.

I was playing at a high level, I had chances to win. It hurts a lot.

Rafael Nadal

A difficult decision to make for the two-time Wimbledon champion

“I was thinking about what to do whole night and day. I had a similar experience at US Open 2018, when in the end I had to retire during the semi-final with Del Potro,” Nadal explained to a packed room of reporters in Wimbledon’s main interview room. “I was playing at a high level, I had chances to win. It hurts a lot, you can be sure of that, but I will look ahead.”

It had been reported earlier on Thursday by Spanish media Marca that Nadal had been diagnosed with a 7 millimeter tear in an abdominal muscle, sustained during his quarter-final win over Taylor Fritz – but that he was still intending to play.

However, he was later seen on the practice courts and looked uncomfortable, mostly with his serve motion.

Nadal didn’t express any regret in his decision making, which denied Taylor Fritz an opportunity to play his first major semi-final.

“I did the things that I felt in every single moment. I am not the kind of player and the kind of person that when you make decisions, I going to look back and say, I should not be done that, or I should do another thing.”

It is the fifth time in his career that Nadal leaves a major tournament because of an injury, after the Australian Open in 2010, the French Open in 2016, the Australian Open and the US Open in 2018.

Your comments

One response to ““I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough” – Rafael Nadal OUT of Wimbledon with abdominal injury

  1. Well, well it will be very interesting on Sunday to watch Djokovic v Kyrgios. Djokovic never beat him. He’s got a chance to do it on Sunday. You never know.

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