Nick Kyrgios sets remarkable new Wimbledon record after Rafael Nadal pulls out injured

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Nick Kyrgios sets remarkable new Wimbledon record after Rafael Nadal pulls out injured

After Rafael Nadal confirmed that he is retiring from Wimbledon due to injury ahead of his semi-final with Nick Kyrgios, the Australian broke a SW1

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After Rafael Nadal confirmed that he is retiring from Wimbledon due to injury ahead of his semi-final with Nick Kyrgios, the Australian broke a SW19 record and became the first player in the Open era to receive a walkover into the tournament’s final. Kygios will face either reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic or Brit Cameron Norrie on Sunday, as the two play for a place in the final on Friday.

Clare Balding confirmed Kyrgios’ new record during the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage. “Nick Kyrgios will have a walkover to play in his first Grand Slam final without ever playing in a Grand Slam semi-final,” Balding said.” It is the first time in the Open era that in the men’s or women’s singles at Wimbledon a player has had a walkover into the final.”

Nadal revealed he would be retiring from the tournament in a press conference on Thursday evening. “Unfortunately I am here because I have to pull out from the tournament,” the Spaniard told reporters. “I was thinking the whole day about the decision to make but I think it doesn’t make sense to go [on court].

“Even if I tried a lot in my career to keep going in very tough circumstances. I think it’s obvious if I keep going the injury is gonna get worse and worse and that’s the thing that I can say now. It’s not only that I can’t serve at the right speed it’s that I can’t do the normal moment to serve. To imagine myself winning two matches… and for respect to myself in some way, I don’t want to go out there and not be competitive enough.

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“I can’t risk that much and stay two, three months outside of the competition because that’s going to be a tough thing for me. If that happens, it happens, but not because I was not doing things the proper way. In this particular case, it’s not like the foot… In this particular case it’s that if I keep going the injury is going to be increasing… “

BBC pundit John Lloyd explained how Nadal will have been “devastated” to pull out of Wimbledon. “You know how bad it must be for Rafa to have the chance to win the third leg of the slam,” Lloyd said. “Players love records it’s in their DNA so to have that chance, he is playing great tennis, and then for him to pull out. He is a warrior and this must be devastating news for him, and you know that any other tournament and he might have pulled out at match point but with Wimbledon semi-finals on the line and with a day and a half to get it ready, he thought ‘I am going to take a chance to see if there’s a miracle’, and it looks like it hasn’t occurred.”

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Despite reaching his first-ever Grand Slam final, Kyrgios will be disappointed not to face Nadal after the 27-year-old could not hide his glee at the idea of facing the 22-time Major winner. 

“Yeah, obviously it would be pretty special to play Rafa here,” Kyrgios said. “We’ve had some absolute battles on that Centre Court. He’s won one against me, and I’ve won one against him.

“We know we are two completely different personalities. I feel like we respect the hell out of each other, though. I feel like that would be a mouth-watering kind of encounter for everyone around the world. That would probably be the most-watched match of all time. I would argue that.”



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