Rafael Nadal has pulled out of his Wimbledon semi-final due to an abdominal strain sustained in his quarter-final win against Taylor Fritz, giving Nick Kyrgios a bye to Sunday’s final.
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“I can’t serve. Is not only that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s that I can’t do the normal movement to serve,” Nadal said in announcing his withdrawal.
“I did all the things the best way possible to give myself a chance here. I am in the semi-finals, so I’m 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 little bit worst because I felt that playing at the level that I was playing, probably I will have a chance.
“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 to be here.
“But I can’t risk that match and stay two, three months outside of the competition because that’s going to be a tough thing for me.”
The withdrawal ends Nadal’s hopes of winning a calendar slam having already won the Australian and French Opens, and hands Kyrgios his first ever grand slam final spot.
Despite his reputation, Kyrgios has played some of the best – and almost certainly most disciplined – tennis was life over the past 10 days. Unseeded entering the tournament, he survived five-set first round match against Paul Jubb of England.
He then easily disposed of the tournament’s No.26 seed, Filip Krajinović, in straight sets, before taking out the tournament’s No.4 seed, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets. Then it was a five-setter against American Brandon Nakashima, before another straight-set win over Chile’s Christian Garin to reach the semis.