22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of Wimbledon 2022 due to a tear in his abdominal muscle, the player confirmed in a press conference arranged on Thursday, 7 July.
This comes as a huge upset for the player, who won the Australian and French Opens back-to-back this year for the first time in his career and was bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the calendar-year slam.
“Unfortunately, I have to pull out from the tournament,” the dejected Spaniard told reporters.
“As everybody saw yesterday (in the quarter-final), I have been suffering with abdominal pain. I knew something was not okay there. Yeah, that’s confirmed. I have a tear in the muscle in the abdomen.
“I was thinking during the whole day about the decision to make.”
The Spaniard was seen in tremendous pain during his quarter-final match against American Taylor Fritz and he was requested to retire by his father and sister during the game.
However, the player ignored all requests and pulled off a massive victory despite being down two sets to one.
“Even if I tried a lot of times during my career to keep going under very tough circumstances, in that one I think it’s obvious that if I keep going the injury is going to be worse and worse,” he said. “I feel very sad to say that.
“I made my decision because I believe that I can’t win two matches under these circumstances. I can’t serve. It’s not only that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s that I can’t do the normal movement to serve.”
Recently Rafael Nadal played through pain in the final of the French Open, making one of his feet asleep by taking a nerve injection in his ankle.
Asked about if he would trade a foot for a Grand Slam ahead of his finals in French Open last month, Nadal had said that it was important to have fun and be healthy. He reiterated the same at Wimbledon and said that happiness was more important to him.
“As I always said, for me the most important thing is happiness more than any title, even if everybody knows how much effort I put in to be here,” Nadal told reporters at the packed news conference.
“But I can’t risk that match and stay two, three months outside of competition because that’s going to be a tough thing for me.”
“I did all the things the best way possible to give myself a chance here,” said Nadal, adding that he hoped to have a normal hardcourt season, including at the US Open, after recovering.
“I am in the semi-finals, so I was playing very well the last couple of days. Especially yesterday, at the beginning of the match, playing at a very, very high level.
“Even that makes me feel a little bit worse because I felt that playing at the level that I was playing, probably I will have a chance,” he concluded.
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