Rafael Nadal ‘extremely concerned’ about Wimbledon injury ahead of crucial scans

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Rafael Nadal appeared ‘extremely concerned’ about his abdominal injury in the aftermath of his Wimbledon quarter-final win over Taylor Fritz, claims Andrew Castle. Nadal is expected to undergo scans after overcoming a stomach muscle issue to edge a sublime five-set win over the American courtesy of a fifth-set tiebreak.

But the Spaniard was unable to provide clarity on the severity of the issue when speaking after his 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) win on Centre Court. As such Nadal could not offer any guarantees he will step on to court to face Nick Kyrgios in their scheduled semi-final on Friday.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion even admitted he considered retiring in his four-hour, 20-minute clash with Fritz. And the BBC’s lead commentator Castle commented after Nadal’s on-court interview: “It sounded to me although he’s come through the match, I think that he’s extremely concerned, as you would be, about the injury.

“Pat Cash is still with me. That sounded like he’s already thinking, ‘Am I going to be OK?'” Cash added: “I think what he’s going to do is get assessed pretty quickly. Yes he didn’t serve as well and move as well as he’d have liked.

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“Sometimes these things are more simple than they appear. You can get massaged through the area, around the area, and it can loosen everything up. I think he’ll take precautions. He’ll go and have a scan on it and he may be able to have an ultrasound scan here at the [All England] Club now, they’ve got quite a medical team.”

Nadal admitted, as footage caught on camera suggested, that his father told him mid-match he should retire from the match. And the 36-year-old says he’s concerned about his fitness ahead of Friday’s semi-finals, with British No 1 Cameron Norrie facing top seed Novak Djokovic in the other final-four clash. Nadal said: “It’s [retiring is] something that I hate to do. So I just keep trying, and that’s it.

“I’m playing great. I am enjoying a lot. The level of tennis, if we put away the problems – something that’s difficult, the feeling that I am having with the ball in my hand is honestly great.

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“I am feeling myself playing very well. Now I’m worried honestly. That’s part of the business, too. Even if I did a lot of efforts to play this event in all ways, abdominal is not a thing that comes to play on grass. Can happen in any surface.”

Nadal owns a 6-3 head-to-head record against Kyrgios and has won all of their last three meetings. The pair famously first met at Wimbledon in 2014 when the Australian won a round of 16 tie on his SW19 debut – this is the first time he has got past the quarter-finals since then. The last time the two met at the Championships was in 2019 when Nadal won in four sets.

The pair have a famously frosty relationship and after Kyrgios won a Mexican Open clash in Acapulco that same year, Nadal said: “He’s a player who has enormous talent, could be winning Grand Slams or fighting for the No 1 ranking. He lacks respect for the crowd, his opponent and towards himself. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, but he lacks a little respect for the public and the rival.”

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