Rafael Nadal admitted he feared playing Nick Kyrgios could end his career after announcing his withdrawal from Wimbledon. It is the first time ever
Rafael Nadal admitted he feared playing Nick Kyrgios could end his career after announcing his withdrawal from Wimbledon. It is the first time ever a player has been given a walkover in a men’s semi-final at Wimbledon – and it means Kyrgios.
But ultimately Nadal felt his inability to serve properly meant he had no chance to win the two matches he needed to win the trophy. And the 22-time Grand Slam winner added that “happiness was more important than any title”.
“The most dangerous thing that can happen today is that I end my tennis career, because I think that things are going to go better without a doubt,” he said. “As I always said, for me the most important thing is happiness more than any title, even if everybody knows how much effort I put to be here.
“But I can’t risk that match and stay two, three months outside of the competition because that would be a tough thing for me. If that happens, it happens. But not because I was not doing things the proper way.
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“That’s my decision and I have to live with that. I can’t say another thing. I am very sad and it has been a very tough one.”
The 36-year-old revealed he agonised all day about whether he would be able to set out on Centre Court to face Kyrgios for a place in Sunday’s final. “The communication is too late because even as I am, I was thinking during the whole day about the decision to make,” he said.
“I tried a lot of times during my career to keep going under very tough circumstances, but in this one it’s obvious that if I keep going, the injury is going to get worse and worse.” His sister and father called for him to quit during the second set of his quarter-final against Taylor Fritz but Nadal said he had no regrets about finishing the five-setter.
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“I didn’t want to pull out in the middle of a quarter-finals match,” he said. I found a way to finish the match and that is something that I am proud of. At the beginning of the match, I was playing at a very, very high level, If anything, that makes me feel a little bit worse because I felt that playing at the level that I was playing, probably I will have a chance.
“But then you confirm that you have an injury, then you make the decision thinking about your health and your future.”
Now he has a race to get back to full fitness with the US Open starting in seven weeks’ time. “It is going to be around three or four weeks – that’s the normal thing for these kinds of injury,” he said.“So I hope that will allow me to do my normal calendar. That’s the calendar that I have on my mind.”