Wimbledon: Nadal hopeful of recovering from injury in time for Kyrgios semi-final

By Sports Desk July 06, 2022

Rafael Nadal is hopeful he will overcome an abdominal injury that plagued him during his victory over Taylor Fritz in time for Friday's Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

The 22-time grand slam winner recovered from behind to edge Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4) in a thrilling contest on Centre Court on Wednesday.

Nadal called for a medical time-out in the second set and never fully recovered from the issue, with his movement restricted throughout the four-hour-and-20-minute battle.

However, Nadal showed incredible mental and physical resilience to dig deep and see off first-time grand slam quarter-finalist Fritz and set up a showdown with Kyrgios.

Speaking in his on-court interview, the Spaniard admitted he was not entirely sure he would be able to see out his quarter-final tie after playing through the pain barrier.

"The body in general is fine," he said. "The abdominal [area] is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit different.

"For a lot of moments I was thinking I will not be able to finish the match, but the court energy was something else.

"I honestly enjoy a lot playing these kind of matches, in front of you guys, I can’t thank you enough. It has been a tough afternoon. [Fritz] is a great player, all the credit to him.

"He's been great the whole season. But from my personal side it was not an easy match at all, so I'm just very happy to be in the semi-final.

"I hope to be ready to play it. Nick is a great player on all surfaces but especially on grass, he is having a great grass-court season.

"It's going to be a big challenge and I'm going to need to be at my 100 per cent to have a chance, and that is what I'm going to try to do."

 

Nadal has now won all eight quarter-finals contested at Wimbledon and is on a 19-match winning run at grand slams – three short of his own record of 21, which he set in 2010.

The victory over Fritz marked only the second time Nadal has won a fifth-set tie-break at a major, having previously prevailed against Dominic Thiem at the 2018 US Open.

It was also the first time since the same stage four years ago, against Juan Martin Del Potro, that Nadal has come through a five-set match at Wimbledon.

He has two days to recover ahead of facing Kyrgios, who had earlier defeated Cristian Garin in straight sets to reach a first grand slam semi-final.

"Tomorrow I'm going to have some more tests. But it's difficult to know [how I'll feel]," Nadal said when providing a further update on his fitness.

"It's obvious that I am not the kind of player that I didn't have a lot of things [injuries] in my tennis career, so I am used to have things and I am used to hold pain and to play with problems.

"Knowing that, when I feel something like I felt, that is because something is not going the proper way. But let's see. 

"It's obvious that today is nothing new. I had these feelings for a couple of days. Without a doubt, today was the worst day.

"There has been an important increase of pain and limitation. I managed to win that match. Let's see what's going on tomorrow."

Nadal leads Kyrgios 6-3 in their previous nine career matches, including victories in two of their three meetings in majors.

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