Rafael Nadal has announced he is withdrawing from Wimbledon after failing to recover from a stomach injury, meaning Nick Kyrgios is in a Grand Slam final.
Kyrgios will be walk-over to Sunday’s final where he will play either top class and six-time champion Novak Djokovic or Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, was visibly in pain during a grueling five-set win against 11th-seeded American Taylor Fritz on Wednesday.
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Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported earlier Thursday that Nadal had a “seven millimeter” tear in his abdomen, but was still planning to play.
But the 36-year-old scheduled a press conference at the All England Club later in the day, where he confirmed his withdrawal.
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“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, I’m here because I have to withdraw from the tournament,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion.
“As everyone saw yesterday, I suffer from abdominal pain and something went wrong there. That has been confirmed, I have a muscle tear.”
The Spaniard said he had been thinking all day about what decision he would make. But he said: “There’s no point in going on even if I’m trying to go through my whole career. It’s very tough conditions, but it’s clear that if I continue the injury will get worse and worse.”
Kyrgios responded to the shocking news on his Instagram with a photo of him and Nadal after a match with the caption: “Different players, different personalities. @rafaelnadal Hope your recovery is going well and we hope to see you all healthy soon. until next time….”
The Canberran will be the first Australian man to reach the Wimbledon singles final since Mark Philippoussis achieved the feat in 2003 and the last Australian man to reach a grand slam final since Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open in 2005.
It is the first walk-over to a Wimbledon final and only the second in an Open-era men’s semi-final or final after Richard Kraijicek was forced out of the 1992 Australian semi-final against Jim Courier.,
The Spaniard was in pain during his match against Fritz, which he won 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7/6 (10/4) in four hours and 21 minutes.
Nadal was given pain relief during the match and a medical time-out in the second set for admitting his father and sister gestured for him to stop.
He practiced at Wimbledon on Thursday afternoon, but at his press conference at 19:20 (1820 GMT) he admitted that he could not continue.
His decision to pull out puts an end to his hopes of winning all four majors in the same year, following his Australian Open and French Open victories this year.
The last man to make it to the Grand Slam calendar was Rod Laver, in 1969. Nadal, who said his injury prevented him from serving well, added: “I never thought about the Slam calendar, I thought about my diary and my happiness .
“I’m making the decision because I don’t believe I can win two games under the circumstances. It’s not just that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s also that I can’t do the normal movement to serve.
“After that, to imagine winning two games, and somehow out of respect for myself, I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough to play at the level I need to play to achieve my goals.” reach.”
Nadal bid to win his 23rd Grand Slam title and match Serena Williams in second place on the all-time list for most Grand Slam titles. Margaret Court is the leader on 24 titles.