It’s the news that everyone was fearing as on Thursday evening, Rafael Nadal called a press conference and confirmed that he’s suffered an abdominal tear and has to withdraw from the tournament. Nadal suffered the injury during his match against Taylor Fritz where he was clearly struggling with his serve but ultimately stumbled over the finishing line in a last set tiebreak.
Nadal debated over the decision for the whole day and even had a late practice at Aorangi practice courts but ultimately concluded that it was not worth risking:
“As everybody saw yesterday, I have been suffering with the pain in abdominal. I know something was not okay there, as yesterday I said,” Nadal told in his press conference.
“I have a tear in the muscle in the abdominal. The communication is too late because even like that I was thinking during the whole day about the decision to make. Even if I tried lot of times during my career to keep going under very tough circumstances, in that one I think it’s obvious that if I keep going, the injury going to be worst and worst. That’s the thing that I can say now. Feel very sad to say that.
“I made my decision because I believe that I can’t win two matches under these circumstances. I can’t serve. Is not only that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s that I can’t do the normal movement to serve.
“I have to say that, imagine myself winning two matches, and for respect to myself in some way, I don’t want to go out there, not be competitive enough to play at the level that I need to play to achieve my goal, and with a big chance to make the things much worse, no?”
Nadal also told the press that winning the calendar Grand Slam wasn’t on his mind when making the decision and ultimately his overall happiness is more important than winning tennis matches:
“No, I never thought about the calendar slam. I thought about my daily happiness and my daily work,” Nadal told the press.
“I did all the things the best way possible to give myself a chance here. I am in the semi-finals, so I’m playing very well the last couple of days. Especially yesterday, at the beginning of the match, playing at a very, very high level. Even that makes me feel little bit worst because I felt that playing at the level that I was playing, probably I will have a chance.
Nadal was also asked whether he regretted finishing the match against Fritz and the Spaniard said he sticks by his decision as he finished and won the match. Nadal also said that he will be out for three to four weeks as he hopes his abdominal tear will heal in time for the US hard court swing:
“I finished the match. I won the match. I did the things that I felt in every single moment,” Nadal strongly claimed.
“I am not the kind of player and the kind of person that when you make decisions, I going to look back and say, I should not be done that, or I should do another thing. Of course, you learn from mistakes. I did during all my tennis career. I tried to not repeat mistakes.
“Well, I had some issues in abdominals since a week, but the things were more or less we were able to control it. It going to be around between three, four weeks, normal thing for these kind of injuries. So I hope that this will not make me — I hope these three, four weeks will allow me to do my normal calendar. That’s the calendar that I have on mind.
“I can’t keep playing, not now, but in one week I going to be able to play from the baseline. Not serving for a while, of course. Playing from the baseline not going to be a big deal. In some way that’s a positive thing, that I going to keep being able to practice from the baseline. That helps to try to make the calendar that I want to do.”
There will be no calendar Grand Slam for Nadal but the Spaniard will enter the last Grand Slam of the year at the US Open with a 19-0 win-loss record. As for this tournament Nick Kyrgios is into his first Grand Slam final where he will play Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie which is first on Centre Court on Friday.
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