Rafael Nadal beats Taylor Fritz and struggles through injury
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Rafael Nadal made a heartwarming gesture to the staff at Wimbledon the day after the Spaniard was forced to withdraw from the tournament. Nadal cruelly missed out on the chance to continue his hunt for the 2022 Grand Slam after pulling out through injury.
The 36-year-old was set to take on Nick Kyrgios in the semi-final, after defeating American Taylor Fritz in the last eight. However, Nadal was forced to pull out the day before his clash with Kyrgios after sustaining an injury in his clash with Fritz.
The decision was no doubt a hard one for the 22-time Grand Slam champion, who revealed the news after calling a press conference at SW19. Revealing his withdrawal, Nadal admitted that he didn’t believe he had the fitness to ‘win two matches’ and go on to win the title.
In a statement he said: “It’s obvious that if I keep going, the injury is going to get worse and worse… I made my decision because I believe I can’t win two matches. I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough to play at the level I need to to achieve my goal.”
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Nadal will of course be heartbroken to make the tough decision, however the Spanish star was still able to show his class with a touching gesture to all those who work at Wimbledon the day after. As he made his way out of the SW19 complex, Nadal ensured that he shook the hand and hugged each member working at All England Tennis hub, to show his appreciation for their efforts.
As he went through his handshakes, hugs and photos with fans the 22-time Grand Slam champion was heard saying: “Thank you. Hope to see you next year. Let’s see. Thank you so much.” Whether Nadal does return to the famous grass court tournament next year remains to be seen.
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The injury at Wimbledon is yet another fitness setback for the Spanish star, who has battled injuries over the last 12 to 18 months. Despite winning both the Australian and French Open this year, rumours continue to circulate that Nadal could be ready to call time on his career due to the constant fitness issues.
Despite this, the Spanish star is expected to make a quick return after Rogers Cup tournament director Eugene Lapierre confirmed he expects Nadal to play next month. He said: “Nadal really wants to come to Montreal and his hotel rooms are already booked. He was sent a crate of balls to use during the tournament to prepare. He should return to training on Monday.”
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