Wimbledon: Kyrgios wishes Nadal well after receiving semi-final walkover

By Sports Desk July 07, 2022

Nick Kyrgios has taken to social media to wish Rafael Nadal a speedy recovery after the Spaniard withdrew from the pair's Wimbledon semi-final through injury.

Nadal appeared to be struggling throughout his epic five-set quarter-final win over Taylor Fritz on Wednesday, and it was later confirmed the 22-time grand slam champion had suffered a seven-millimetre abdominal tear.

The two-time Wimbledon champion then announced his withdrawal from the competition at a news conference on Thursday, saying he doubted his ability to win two matches while enduring the pain.

Nadal's exit means Kyrgios will become Australia's first male Wimbledon finalist since Mark Philippoussis in 2003, and is the first player to receive a semi-final walkover in the competition in the Open Era.

The enigmatic 27-year-old has since taken to Instagram to wish the Spaniard well, writing: "Different players, different personalities.

"I hope your recovery goes well and we all hope to see you healthy soon. 'Till next time…"

The Australian has enjoyed a heated rivalry with Nadal since beating him in their first head-to-head meeting at Wimbledon in 2014, with the pair engaging in a couple of high-profile spats.

Kyrgios will now face either Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie in Sunday's final, as he bids to become the first Australian man to win Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt defeated David Nalbandian in 2002.

He has embarked on a box-office run in SW19, coming through five-set thrillers against Paul Jubb and Brandon Nakashima, as well as winning a fiery third-round contest against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Some 6,944 days will have passed since an Australian man played in a Wimbledon final by the time Kyrgios takes to Centre Court on Sunday, though he will look to fare better than Philippoussis did in 2003's straight-sets loss to Roger Federer.

World number 40 Kyrgios is also the lowest-ranked – and the first unseeded – Wimbledon finalist since Philippoussis (number 48), as well as the lowest-ranked grand slam finalist since Marcos Baghdatis (number 54) at the 2006 Australian Open.

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