Rafael Nadal beats Taylor Fritz and struggles through injury
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Rafael Nadal has split the opinion of tennis fans on whether the Spaniard will ever win the Wimbledon title again, following his semi-final withdrawal last week. Nadal was set to take on Nick Kyrgios in the final four last Friday but was forced to pull out due to ongoing fitness problems.
As a result Express Sport readers are unsure on whether the 22-time Grand Slam champion will ever lift the title on the famous SW19 grass again due to his injury troubles. In a poll, 50% of readers felt Nadal would never win the Wimbledon title again, with 29% thinking he will, and 21% unsure.
There is not a more successful Grand Slam player on the planet than the 36-year-old, after he clinched the Australian Open and French Open earlier this year to move onto 22 titles. Nadal was of course on track for the Grand Slam following his two previous victories prior to his semi-final withdrawal.
The Spanish star took on American Taylor Fritz in the quarter-final, and this is where Nadal picked up his abdominal problem that ultimately saw him miss his final four clash with Kyrgios. Throughout the last eight match, Nadal battled his way through the pain barrier, even ignoring the advice of his coaching team and family.
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Of course the 36-year-old finally prevailed in heroic fashion but was unable to compete in the semi-final, raising questions that he should have conceded in his quarter-final clash, to allow Fritz to have a shot at Kyrgios in the semi-final. Once again the opinions of Express Sport readers were split when quizzed on the matter.
As a result, 48% believe that Nadal should have allowed Fritz to go through to the semi-final, whilst 43% feel the Spaniard did the right thing by sticking out his last eight match, with six percent left unsure. The defeat was clearly a tough one to take for the American, who revealed afterwards the defeat ‘nearly made him cry’.
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Speaking to the press post-match he said: “After the match was over, I wanted to cry. I’ve never felt like that ever after a loss. I’ve never felt like I could cry after a loss. Just that’s telling enough to know that this one hurt more than any other one’s hurt before.”
Within the debate on whether Nadal should have allowed Fritz to go through to the semi-finals or not, the man himself feels he did not warrant a place to play Kyrgios. Addressing the point on Twitter, he said: “Nah, not looking for handouts, if I couldn’t beat him then I don’t deserve to be in semis… simple as that.”
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