Rafael Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon due to injury, pushing Nick Kyrgios straight to final

The 22-time grand slam champion would face Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals on Friday. Kyrgios now goes straight to the final to face the winner of the match between Novak Djokovic and Cameron Norrie.

“I have to withdraw from the tournament,” Nadal said during a press conference on Thursday. “I have a tear in the (abdominal) muscle.”

Nadal said he’d been thinking all day about what to do, but decided it “wouldn’t make sense” to continue.

“If I keep going, the injury will get worse and worse,” he said, adding how “sad” he was about it.

Nadal hinted that part of his decision was based on the fact that he would have to win two matches, the semi-final and the final, to win the championship.

“I don’t believe I can win two games,” he said. “I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough to play at the level I need to reach my goal with a big chance of making things much worse.”

Nadal said he expected a three to four week recovery and looked forward to returning, as expected, to compete in upcoming tournaments.

The Spaniard said he had been bothered by the injury for a week but worsened over time his grueling quarterfinal game against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday. Although he came through and won 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, he sometimes seemed to struggle with an injury to his abdomen.

On more than one occasion, Nadal remained bent over after a shot, holding his midriff. The two-time Wimbledon champion called the trainer out for a second set assessment, before eventually taking a medical time-out and leaving the field for treatment.
“We are sad to see it end this way,” Wimbledon said tweeted, tag Nadal. “Thank you for another year of unforgettable moments at The Championships.”
Earlier this year, Nadal played through the pain barrier to win his 14th French Open title, receiving injections in his foot before every match. In a press conference after the Roland Garros match, Nadal said his 21-year career had caused him “every day” pain.

Matias Grez of CNN contributed to this report.

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