Rafael Nadal has won his quarter final match up against Taylor Fritz, despite being advised by his father and sister to quit during the second set, as he was suffering from an abdominal injury that he has carried for days. He is now scheduled to face Nick Kygrios in the semi final.
As if you needed any further proof Rafael Nadal is an honorific hombre (you know, after he went one better than both Federer and Djokovic in terms of career Grand Slam wins), and after ploughing through injuries and still winning various times in his career, he last night did the same again, winning his quarter-final against Taylor Fritz despite being in such pain his dad told him to retire from the match.
Nadal looked screwed in every sense as he left the court for a medical time out half way through the match, as he fought abdominal pain, with his dad and sister gesticulating for him to stop playing.
But he, just as he did in the Australian Open (where many people wrote him off after he started poorly), showed his iconic never say die attitude, and came back from two sets to one down in a 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 showdown.
“For a lot of moments I was thinking I would not be able to finish the match but the crowd, the energy, thanks for that,” Nadal said after the game.
“I can’t thank you enough for the support.”
Nadal is now scheduled to play Kyrgios tomorrow night. In a press conference after the match, Nadal said: “For me it was tough to retire. In the middle of the match, not easy, even if I had that idea for such a long time but on the other hand I did it a couple of times in my tennis career.”
“It’s something that I hate to do it, so I just keep trying and that’s it.”Rafael Nadal
He added: “Tomorrow I’m going to have some more tests but difficult to know… I’m not the kind of player that I didn’t have a lot of things in my tennis career, so I am used to have things and I am used to hold pain and to play with problems.”
“I had these feelings for a couple of days but without a doubt today was the worst day – has been an important increase in pain and limitation.”
When asked about what the doctor did during the medical time out, he said: “They can’t do much. The doctor came and gave me some anti-inflammatories, analgesics, I don’t know, and that’s it. The physio tried to relax a little bit the muscle there.”
“I fighted – I’m proud about the fighting spirit and I managed to be competitive under that conditions.”
“I can’t give you a clear answer [on whether he will play against Kygrios as scheduled] because if I give you a clear answer and tomorrow another thing happens I will be a liar so I can’t.”
“At the end all decisions are player decisions, but at the same time I need to know different opinions and I need to check everything the proper way. There is something even more important than winning Wimbledon that is the health and let’s see how this is going.”
Is not human 😳 @RafaelNadal— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) July 6, 2022
On social media, Nadal was congratulated for his never give up attitude (and his astonishing ability to back it up). Fellow Spaniard and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea wrote: “Is not human.” Wimbledon’s official account called him a warrior, and Patrick McEnroe said: “I said it before… I’ll say it again… @RafaelNadal everyone….”
Comments on Youtube were split, with some expressing their admiration and awe, and others expressing their concern. One wrote: “‘I hate to do it’. Long live this great champion.”
Rafa Nadal has to be the most insane competitor in any sport … ever. From a cracked rib to playing with a numb foot to his fight today, it's absolutely ridiculous. Can't think of anyone else doing what he does time and time again #Tennis #Wimbledon #VamosRafa #Nadal— Kiran Gupta (@kirangupta_) July 6, 2022
Another commented: “I don’t mind if he plays or not but he needs to look after himself. Forgoing Wimbledon is difficult but the amount of injuries he has had lately he needs to think about the body. He can still go for grandslams in future but if he pushes it too much and gets a serious injury which forces him off the tour for another 6-8 months then the whole process of coming back to the top is really tough and at his age seems like mission impossible.”
All we can say, is let the greatness roll. Bring on Kyrgios – Nadal 10.0 (they’ve played 9 times before, with Nadal winning 6 of those matchups). Let’s hope those scans (and the doctor’s advice) go well.