“The most important thing is my happiness on a title”
Rafael Nadal says extending his career is more important than any trophy after pulling out of Wimbledon ahead of his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios due to injury.
The second seed broke through the pain barrier beating Taylor Fritz in a five-set thriller in Wednesday’s quarter-final, but he later admitted he wasn’t sure a troublesome abdominal problem would go away in time for Friday’s semi-final.
Nadal appeared at the training grounds on Thursday, despite tests which reportedly revealed he had a seven-millimeter abdominal tear, although this ultimately proved fruitless when he announced at a press conference later in the day that his match with Kyrgios would not take place.
Although disappointed to have been denied the chance to win a first Grand Slam on the calendar, having already won the Australian Open and the French Open this year, the 22-time major winner believes he cannot had no choice.
“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, I’m here because I have to withdraw from the tournament,” he said. “As everyone saw yesterday, I am suffering from pain in my abdomen [area] and something was wrong there.
“It’s confirmed, I have a tear in the muscle and the communication is too late. I’ve been thinking all day, I’ve been thinking about the decision to make, but I think it doesn’t make sense to go, even if I try throughout my career to continue.
“These are very difficult circumstances but it is obvious that if I continue the injury will get worse and worse. I never thought about the calendar, I thought about my diary and my happiness.
“I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough to play at my best level. The most important thing for me is the happiness of having a title.”
Nadal showed incredible mental and physical resilience to dig deep and see first-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4), although he was put down on roll call. for a medical stoppage on center court.
“I’m making this decision because I don’t believe I can win two matches under these circumstances. It’s not just that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s that I can’t do the normal movement to serve “, added Nadal. of his decision to withdraw.
“After that, to imagine myself winning two matches and out of respect for myself in a way, I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough to play at the level that I need to achieve my Goals.”
Kyrgios will now receive a bye to a first Grand Slam final, where Cameron Norrie or Novak Djokovic will wait on Sunday.
As for Nadal, he hopes to return to action in “two to three weeks”, meaning he will have time to get back up to speed in time for the US Open, which begins on August 29.
“My goal is to go to the Montreal Masters [on August 5]”, Nadal said. “Injuries are part of my career. I saw myself with options to win the title, but you have to accept things as they come.