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Wimbledon 2022: Injured Rafael Nadal decides to play semifinal against Nick Kyrgios

London, July 7 (IANS) Rafael Nadal has reportedly decided to play his Wimbledon 2022 semifinal against Nick Kyrgios, despite suffered a ‘seven-millimeter tear in the abdomen’ during the four-hour, 20-minute quarterfinal encounter on Wednesday.

Nadal refused to surrender to his injury and hung on to hold off American Taylor Fritz in five sets, reaching the men’s singles semifinals at the Wimbledon Championships once again.

The 22-time major champion Nadal left the court for a medical timeout in the second set, after losing the opening set 3-6, and appeared to be struggling with an abdominal issue mid-way through the quarterfinal match.

Yet the second seed showcased trademark resilience, raising his aggression to keep points short and producing a high-class deciding-set tie-break to seal a 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) victory.

There was heavy speculation that the injury was an abdominal problem and it can now be revealed that Nadal has suffered a seven-millimetre abdominal tear, with Marca reporting that Nadal is keen to push himself through the pain barrier.

He was due to practise on Wimbledon’s Court 10 at 12.30pm on Thursday but failed to show up, with Marca reporting a scan showed Nadal he had a 7mm tear in the abdomen but would be playing on Friday.

Nadal, who won the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June, is seeking to keep his bid for the 2022 Grand Slam alive at the grass-court major. His next opponent is Nick Kyrgios as the Australian beat Cristian Garin from Chile 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time.

The Spaniard had said he could not guarantee that he would play the semifinals on Friday as he would go for some tests on Thursday.

“I hope to be ready to play,” said Nadal on Wednesday.

“Nick is a great player on all surfaces, but especially here on grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a big challenge. I need to be at 100 per cent to keep having chances and that’s what I am going to try to do.”

The Spaniard knelt down after ripping down a serve towards the end of the second set to his and clutched at his stomach. He soon called for a medical time-out where his dad and sister were pleading with him to withdraw from the match.

He was late to a practice session scheduled on Thursday at Wimbledon and Marca claim it was due to him being away from the grounds undergoing medical tests. The Spanish outlet goes on to claim that Nadal has suffered a ‘seven-millimeter tear in one of his abdominal muscles’.

–IANS

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