Rafael Nadal concedes that he is unsure about his readiness to play Nick Kyrgios in Friday’s Wimbledon semifinals after suffering a near-fatal abdominal injury against Taylor Fritz.
In a tiresome match that lasted four hours and 21 minutes, the second seed had to take a medical break during the second set but persevered to win 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10/4) despite the hardship.
Earlier, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), Australian maverick Kyrgios defeated Chilean Cristian Garin with remarkable ease.
In his post-match news conference, 2008 and 2010 winner Rafael Nadal expressed uncertainty about continuing in the competition as he aims to complete a rare calendar Grand Slam.
The 36-year-old stated, “I can’t give you a clear response because if I give you a clear answer and tomorrow something else occurs, I would be a liar.”
While receiving painkillers throughout the game, Nadal said that he would undergo testing before determining whether or not to continue playing at the All England Club.
The Spaniard said that his sister and father had been urging him to end his quarterfinal encounter against Fritz, but he claimed to “detest” the suggestion.
I battled, he admitted. “Proud of the fighting spirit and the manner I was able to compete under such circumstances.”
Even for a healthy Nadal, Kyrgios, rated 40th in the world, poses a severe danger.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner leads the series 6-3, but Kyrgios defeated the Spaniard on route to the quarterfinals in 2014, and Nadal made his comeback three years later.
A fired-up On Centre Court, Nadal got out to a fast start and led 3-1 before losing the next five games to lose the set.
In the second set, the players traded breaks, but Nadal was having trouble moving about, so he called a medical timeout when the score was 4-3.
When he returned, American 11th seed Fritz served out to love, and Nadal still seemed to be having trouble moving.
However, the Spaniard easily held serve again to take the lead at 6-5, and a backhand volley into the wide court to end the second set was greeted with cheers from the audience.
Nadal, 36, was moving more smoothly at this point but lost the third set after being broken twice.
There were five breaks in a chaotic fourth set, but Nadal prevailed to tie the match.
When the fifth set proceeded to a tie-break, Nadal took charge, jumping out to an early 9-3 lead and winning on his second match point.
Nadal is halfway to the first calendar Grand Slam by a man since Rod Laver in 1969 after winning the Australian Open and the French Open this year.
In addition, he wants to tie Serena Williams for the second-most Grand Slam singles championships of all time by winning his 23rd Grand Slam championship. With 24 championships, Margaret Court leads the field.
On Court One, Kyrgios’ match lacked the drama that Nadal’s did.
The 27-year-old made his maiden Grand Slam semifinal by only being broken by Garin once and hitting 35 winners.
The Australian stated, “I never dreamed I’d be in the Grand Slam semifinal.” “I believed the ship had sailed and may have squandered that brief opportunity in my career.
“I’m extremely glad I was able to come out here with my squad and put on a show,” the participant said.
Since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005, Kyrgios became the first Australian man to go to the Wimbledon semifinals.
But after learning that he must go before an Australian court to defend himself against an assault charge next month, he entered the game under a new cloud of scandal.
His performance at Wimbledon 2022 has also been up and down.
Brilliant, enthusiastic shot-making has been followed with $14,000 in penalties and a nasty, abusive altercation with competitor Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round.
Best seed In the second semifinal on Friday, ninth-seeded British player Cameron Norrie will face Novak Djokovic.