Rafael Nadal withdraws from his Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios with an abdominal injury.
|Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July|
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The 36-year-old Spanish second seed received treatment on the injury during his quarter-final against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday but pushed through the pain to win in five sets.
“I have tried a lot of times in my career to keep going but it is obvious the injury will get worse,” he said.
Kyrgios will play Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie in Sunday’s final.
Nadal confirmed he has a tear in his abdominal muscle which meant he would not be able to be competitive over two matches.
The Spaniard had practised at Wimbledon away from the media earlier on Thursday but then called a news conference.
“Throughout the whole day I have been thinking about the decision to make,” Nadal told reporters.
“I think it doesn’t make sense to play. I feel very sad to say that.”
Nadal, 36, had strapping on his abdomen during his fourth-round match but was in visible pain from the injury against Fritz.
He took a medical time-out during the match and ignored calls from his dad and sister to quit before somehow rallying to win.
‘Happiness more important than titles’
Nadal was a doubt for Wimbledon in general because of a chronic foot condition which he had to manage during his run to a record-extending 14th French Open title last month.
He had performed well at the All England Club but was visibly struggling during the match against Fritz.
His serve was noticeably affected by the injury and he said on Thursday that he could not serve “at a normal speed”.
“I can’t imagine myself winning two matches and for respect to myself in some way I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough,” Nadal said.
“A couple of weeks ago I saw my career very different because of the foot injury.
“The most important thing is happiness more than any titles. I can’t risk that match and stay two or three months out of the competition.
“I am very sad and it is a very tough one.”
‘You can tell how sad he is’ – reaction
Two-time Grand Slam Tracy Austin on BBC TV: “You can tell how sad he is – he loves to compete, he’s 36 years old and boy, has he had a tough year. After the foot injury at Roland Garros and the injections, it’s hard to believe he won a major with a numb foot.
“He comes here and most of us thought he would retire yesterday in the second or third set. The guy just wants to compete, the will, the effort. But he said ‘I need to have respect for myself, I don’t want to go out there if I can’t compete or serve well’.”
Former British number one John Lloyd on BBC TV: “When he said about not being able to play two matches he knows that even if by some miracle he had got through Nick Kyrgios there’s no way he can get through two matches.
“If he can’t play at 100% there’s no way he’s going to do it. You can see in his face how devastated he is – he’s got to get well, move on and get healthy and that’s the most important thing.”
More to follow.