Nick Kyrgios through to Wimbledon final after Rafael Nadal forced to pull out due to injury
Rafael Nadal’s bid for the calendar year grand slam is over after he withdrew from Wimbledon due to an abdominal injury - putting Nick Kyrgios straight through to the final.
Nadal was set to play Kyrgios in Friday’s semi-final but his Australian opponent will now receive an automatic walkthrough into a maiden major final.
Nadal, a 22-time grand-slam champion, battled through the issue to beat Taylor Fritz in five sets on Wednesday to progress into the semi-finals in SW19 but scans a day later revealed the severity of the injury.
At a press conference on Thursday evening, Nadal said: “Unfortunately as you can imagine I am here because I have to pull out from the tournament.
“As everyone saw yesterday I have been suffering with a pain in the abdominal and something was not OK there. That is confirmed, I have a tear in the muscle and the communication is too late.
“I was thinking the whole day I was thinking about the decision to make but I think it doesn’t make sense to go, even if I try through my career to keep going. It is very tough circumstances but it is obvious if I keep going the injury will be worse and worse.”
Nadal looked set to retire during his quarter-final against American Fritz on Wednesday evening, but somehow recovered to claim a 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (4) victory after a gruelling four hours and 20 minutes.
The 36-year-old had strapping on his stomach and at times appeared in so much pain that his father and sister, watching from the players’ box, were gesticulating for him to quit the match.
Nadal managed to practice at Wimbledon on Thursday afternoon but, in a 7.20pm press conference, he announced he was unable to continue, ending the Australian Open and French Open champion’s hopes of winning all four majors in the same year.
The Spaniard insisted he made his tough decision due to the abdominal issue preventing him from being able to serve.
Kyrgios has been the subject of controversy throughout his run in the tournament, having been charged with the alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend in addition to a slew of fines from officials.
The 27-year-old said the assault charge he is facing made it “hard to focus” ahead of his quarter-final.
He also received a £8,260 punishment after he admitted spitting in the direction of a spectator who had heckled him during the first-round tie against Paul Jubb, and a £3,300 fine for swearing during Saturday’s fiery clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Kyrgios, who has clashed with line judges at this grand slam, later broke the strict dress code at Wimbledon when he wore red Air Jordan trainers and a red cap for an on-court interview following his most recent victory.