Writhing with abdominal pain and unable to display his relentless way of playing, Rafael Nadal feared he would have no choice but to abandon his match against Taylor Fritz for the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
In the stands of center court, Nadal’s father waved his arms, signaling the 22-major champion to back off. To no one’s surprise, the son ignored him. Nadal stayed on the court, modified his serve mechanics and game strategy, and found a way to win.
With much of the crowd roaring and rising to their feet after Nadal’s best shots, The 36-year-old Spaniard reversed a set deficit against the 11th seed and emerged yesterday with a 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) win that set him up for the eighth time in the Wimbledon semifinals.
“At several moments I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the match,” Nadal said.
He completed it and won it. But now he is not sure if he will be able to play tomorrow against Nick Kyrgios, the 27-year-old Australian who reached the top four of a Grand Slam for the first time, by eliminating Chilean Cristian Garín, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
“I don’t know exactly what I have. It is clear that something is not right”, commented Nadal, who will undergo a series of analyzes today to clarify the situation of an ailment that arose almost a week ago, but that got worse when the first set against Fritz was 3-1. “Obviously I’m worried.”
Nadal’s victory keeps afloat the second seed’s claim to monopolize all four Grand Slam titles in the same year.
He reached his 38th major semifinal, preventing what would have been the first for Fritz, a 24-year-old American who defeated Nadal in the Indian Wells Open final in March. This ended a 20-match winning streak for Nadal, who was affected that day by a rib injury.
Fritz doesn’t think the Spaniard faked his injury
The American Taylor Fritz, who fell yesterday against Rafael Nadal, said he does not believe that the Spaniard had faked an injury and acknowledged that his service was affected by the problem in the abdominal muscle.
“No, I don’t think he faked an injury. His service slowed down, like 20 kilometers per hour. I wouldn’t do that just because.” Fritz stated at a press conference.
“From the baseline, in the third, fourth and fifth sets, I was normal. He moved very well, defending himself fantastically. He was breaking the ball from the corners and running from side to side. I’m sure he has played through a lot of pain. Everybody who goes far in tournaments has to play with some kind of discomfort,” he added.
Get the latest news in your email
Everything you need to know to start your day
Registering implies accepting the Terms and Conditions
#Wimbledon #Rafael #Nadal #raffles #date #adversity