Rafael Nadal has revealed that his team had advised him to retire during his epic five-setter victory in the quarter-final of 2022 Wimbledon.
Nadal overcame 11th seeded Taylor Fritz despite an abdominal issue on Wednesday as he secured a 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4) to set up a semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios.
In a post-match conference, Nadal revealed he continued to play even though his team had asked him to retire from the last-eight game on Center-Court.
“They told me I needed to retire from the match. For me, it was tough to retire in the middle of the match. [It was] not easy, even if I had that idea for such a long time. I did it a couple of times in my tennis career. It’s something that I hate to do. So, I just kept trying, and that’s it,” Nadal said at the press conference, according to ATP.
Nadal was evidently in discomfort and was unable to serve at full power but his fighting spirit like every time was at the top. The Spaniard, who is chasing a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam, fought his way out to clinch an incredible four-hour, 20-minute triumph to improve his quarter-final record at Wimbledon to 8-0.
“They can’t do much [in the medical time-out], honestly. The doctor came, and gave me some anti-inflammatories and analgesic. The physio just tried to relax the muscle there a little bit, but it’s difficult. Nothing can be fixed when you have a thing like this. That’s it. I just wanted to give myself a chance. [It is] not easy to leave the tournament, not easy to leave Wimbledon, even if the pain was hard,” the two-time Wimbledon champion added.
In a span of four months, it was the second time Nadal was facing American tennis player Fritz carrying an injury. Nadal played against Fritz with a fractured rib in his Indian Wells final defeat. The loss saw World No. 4’s incredible 21-match winning streak coming to an end.
When reporters asked Nadal if he would be able to play against Kyrgios, he replied, “I don’t know. Honestly, I can’t give you a clear answer because if, tomorrow, another thing happens, I will be a liar.”
The 36-year-old Nadal went on to say that he would undergo a few tests Thursday as the pain had increased, according to Yahoo Sports. He is scheduled to take on Australia’s Kyrgios on Friday on Center-Court.