Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon, which means Nick Kyrgios has a bye to Sunday’s final.
Nadal headed to the training grounds on Thursday afternoon – later than expected – despite an abdominal injury, with reports in Spain claiming he suffered a 7mm tear in a muscle.
The two-stroke Wimbledon The champ looked set to retire in his quarter-final victory over Taylor Fritz, but recovered to win in five sets after four hours and 20 minutes.
He had straps on his stomach and sometimes looked so ill that his father and sister, watching him from the players’ box, gestured for him to leave the game.
The second-seeded player received medical treatment during his quarter-final match.
After the match, Nadal was asked what his chances were of recovering in time to face Kyrgios and he replied: “I don’t know. Honestly, I can’t give you a clear answer.”
Announcing his withdrawal, Nadal said: “I’ve been thinking all day about what decision to make but I don’t think it makes sense to go there, even though I’m trying throughout my career to continue. .
“These are very difficult circumstances, but it’s obvious that if I continue the injury will get worse and worse.”
The 36-year-old said he was “very sad” to have to withdraw from the iconic tournament.
Nadal called an unscheduled press conference on Thursday evening to announce his decision.
The Spanish player said: “I can’t imagine myself winning two matches and out of respect for myself I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough.
“A few weeks ago I saw my career very different because of the foot injury.
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“The most important thing is happiness more than any titles. I can’t risk this match and stay two or three months out of the competition.
“I am very sad and it is very difficult.”
He has since confirmed that he will not continue.
Nick Krygios will face the winner of the semi-final between Briton Cameron Norrie and defending champion Novak Djokovic.
A walk in the final has never happened at Wimbledon before.