Rafael Nadal admitted on Wednesday that abdominal injury agony might prevent him from fronting up for Friday’s Wimbledon semi-final with resurgent Nick Kyrgios.
The two-time champion and 22-time Grand Slam winner played through the pain barrier and more as he spent nearly four and a half hours in defeating Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4) in their epic quarter-final .
The 36-year-old said he even thought about quitting in pain, but the prestige of Centre Court helped him fight through.
“I don’t know. Honestly, I can’t give you a clear answer,” he said of his chance for taking to the court in less than 48 hours against Kyrgios
“I need to check everything the proper way.
“There is even something more important than winning Wimbledon, that is the health. Let’s see how this is going.”
Nadal said that under no conditions would he have wanted to quit the struggle, where he required a medical timeout for a doctor’s on-the-fly consultation
“Doctor came, gave me some anti inflammatories and analgesic, The physio just tried to relax a little bit the muscle there.
“But nothing can be fixed when you have a thing (problem) like this. I just wanted to give myself a chance.
“(It’s) not easy to leave the tournament. (It’s) not easy to leave Wimbledon, even if the pain was hard.
“I wanted to finish. I prefer to win and that’s what I did I fighted.
“I’m proud about the fighting spirit and the way that I managed to be competitive under those conditions.”
At a particularly desperate moment, Nadal’s father and sister in his player were signalling him that it would be wiser to retire – advice which went unheeded.
“They told me I need to retire. (But) for me it was tough to retire in the middle of the match,even if I had that idea for such a long time.
“It’s something that I hate to do it. So I just keep trying, and that’s it.”
Main photo:- Rafa Nadal celebrates after winning quarter final in five sets – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd