WIMBLEDON – Rafael Nadal: “I didn’t want to risk an absence of two or three months”

Rafael Nadal fans, who are living a sad afternoon following the announcement on Thursday of the withdrawal of his champion from the Wimbledon semifinals, who was due to play on Friday against Nick Kyrgios, can find some consolation in the statements of the Spanish. at a press conference. Without hiding, of course, his sadness at having to give up his dreams of a third London title and especially a Grand Slam on the calendar, Rafa has explained, however, that if he had made this heavy decision it was also because he looked ahead.

“I made that decision because I don’t think I can win two more games here under these circumstances, without being able to serve with all my might. he stated this during a press conference where he also did not appear completely depressed. In a way, out of respect for myself, I don’t want to go out on the track without having the necessary level of competitiveness. But most of all, if I go there, there is every chance that the injury will get seriously worse. Some time ago, I had trouble considering the rest of my career in relation to my foot. Now that things are better in this sense, I don’t want to run the risk of being absent for two or three months, it would be too difficult … “

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This, then, is the good news of the evening: Rafael Nadal was unwilling to sacrifice everything in search of a hypothetical feat, even if it meant burning his last cartridges before taking a well-deserved retirement. Her condition as a tennis player, at the age of 36, always takes her into account in the future and she makes her decisions accordingly, that is, in the medium or even long term.

Rafael Nadal during his press conference

Credit: Getty Images

I think this injury will last for three or four weeks, and I hope this will allow me to keep my normal schedule.

“I think this injury will last three or four weeks, this is the normal time period, explained. In a week I will be able to train again from the baseline and although it will take a little longer before I serve, I hope it will allow me to follow my usual schedule. “ That is, a recovery on the occasion of the Masters 1000 in Montreal, from 7 to 14 August, after a “post-Wimbledon” break that was still on the program. Although he hid his case well, Rafael Nadal explained that he had been bothered by a micro-abdominal tear for a week. “more or less controlled”. But finally aggravated in a bigger tear – 7 millimeters according to the Spanish newspaper Marca – during his victory in the quarterfinals with tweezers against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday.

“Against Taylor, I felt things were getting worse in my service game with 3-2, I think, in the 1st set, explained. I thought about giving up several games. I finally found a way to finish and win the game without necessarily making the injury worse, I’m pretty proud of that. But the wound is there, however, examinations confirmed it. It would have made no sense to continue. It makes me sad, of course, because if I had played at the level of my start against Fritz, I would have had a chance to win the title. “

If the list of injuries he has suffered during his career is as long as a day without tennis, it is only the second time that Rafael Nadal has to announce a retirement during the Grand Slam, after the previous one on the 3rd day of Roland- Garros. 2016 against Marcel Granollers. On the other hand, he often lost in the last matches of the big tournaments while he was diminished. We think in particular of an abdominal injury, already, against Juan Martín Del Potro in the semifinals of the US Open 2009. He also had to give up the Grand Slam three times, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Australian Open . (against Andy Murray), Australian Open 2018 (against Marin Cilic) and in the semifinals of the US Open 2018 (against Del Potro, again).

Inevitably, this abdominal tear evokes the same injury, but a priori much more serious (2.5 cm), suffered by Novak Djokovic during the 3rd round of his victorious Australian Open 2021. It was against Taylor Fritz, already. The Serb had gone all the way, leaving many cautious observers in his path. He had promised that light would be shed on this affair during a television documentary. So far, it has not been published.

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