Rafael 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 on Wednesday.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion lost the opening set 3-6 and asked for a medical timeout while leading 4-3 in the second set.
"The body in general is fine but of course in the abdominal, something is not going well, to be honest," said Nadal after the match and admitted that for a lot of moment, he thought he would not be able to finish the match.
But the 36-year-old Spaniard didn't let the crowd down as he returned to the court and picked up his racket. Wild cheering accompanied him since then whenever he got a point.
Nadal broke in the 11th game to take the second set 7-5, but Fritz dominated the following set with huge serves and big forehands.
The 24-year-old American put himself ahead with another 6-3, but Nadal always with a never-say-die attitude, came back again by winning the fourth set 7-5.
In the deciding set, both broke once and tied until 6-6. Nadal sensationally started the tiebreak with a 5-0 lead before wrapping it up 10-4.
"I just wanted to give myself a chance. Not easy to leave the tournament. Not easy to leave Wimbledon, even if the pain was hard," said Nadal.
Nadal's 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.
But the Spaniard said he could not guarantee that he would play the semifinals on Friday as he would go for some tests on Thursday.
In the women's quarterfinals, former champion Simona Halep needed only one hour and three minutes to crush American Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-4.
The Romanian 16th seed has won all of her five matches in the tournament so far in straight sets.
She will fight for a semifinal place against Elena Rybakina on Thursday as the 17th seed from Kazakhstan came from behind to overtake Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2 and 6-3.
Published : July 07, 2022
By : Xinhua