Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament due to an abdominal muscle injury. The decision was made a day before he was due to face Nick Kyrgios in the men’s semi-final.
“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, if I’m here it’s because I have to withdraw from the tournament,” Nadal told a press conference.
Nadal had been feeling discomfort in his stomach muscle for about a week, but the pain became almost unbearable in the first set of his fifth set win in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. He wore duct tape over his abdomen during the game and needed medical time off to take painkillers. He said he considered quitting after the game.
On Thursday’s day off, however, Nadal went to the All England Club for some light training, mostly hitting forehands and backhands. He attempted a few serves, which he couldn’t play with all his strength. He said serves also caused the most discomfort in Wednesday’s quarterfinal match against Taylor Fritz.
Nadal said he had a tear in one of his abdominal muscles. Nadal said it made no sense to continue in the tournament and described it as “very difficult circumstances”.
“I think it’s obvious that if I continue the injury is going to get worse and worse, and that’s the thing I can say now and I’m very sad to say that,” he said.
Nadal’s withdrawal means Kyrgios has qualified for his first major tournament final and will face either Novak Djokovic or Cam Norrie for the championship on Sunday. Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open earlier this year, and a victory at Wimbledon would have extended his Grand Slam record to 23 titles.