"I can't win two games", justifies Rafael Nadal after his withdrawal from the semi-final

“I can’t win two games”, justifies Rafael Nadal after his withdrawal from the semi-final

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Reason prevailed. The day after his long fight against the American Taylor Fritz to join the last four of the 2022 edition of Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal announced, Thursday, July 7, his decision to give up lining up in the semi-finals. He was due to face Australian Nick Kyrgios on Friday.

While during his quarter-final his father and sister told him to give up, Rafael Nadal held on despite severe pain in his abdominals. The 36-year-old Spaniard, who declared on the evening of his victory that he “hated giving up”justified his withdrawal by specifying that his injury did not allow him “to win both matches” to the title.

How did you come to make this decision?

Rafael Nadal: I made this decision because I can’t win two games [demi-finale et finale] in these circumstances. I cannot serve. Not only can I not serve at the desired speed, but I cannot make my gesture. And out of respect for myself, I don’t want to show up on the court without being competitive enough to play at the level I need to achieve my goal, while having a high chance of aggravating the injury.

Two weeks ago, I explained that my career was becoming complicated because of my foot. Now it’s better on that side, but the most dangerous thing for me at this stage of my career is to be convinced that things will be better. The most important thing in life is happiness, more than any title, even if everyone knows the efforts I make to be where I am. But I can’t risk playing this game [contre Nick Kyrgios] and find myself deprived of competition for two or three months. If it’s going to happen, it will happen, but not because I did it wrong. It’s my decision and I’m very sad that I had to make it.

After all your efforts in Australia and at Roland-Garros, aren’t you extremely frustrated to have to forfeit before the semi-finals at Wimbledon?

In Australia, I didn’t have many problems during the tournament, but I was coming back from a long period of injury. Roland-Garros was very demanding, especially mentally, but also physically. But then things got better. Just being here showed how much this tournament meant to me and how much I wanted to play it.

I did everything the best I could to give myself a chance. I’m in the semi-finals so I’ve been playing very well over the past few days. Especially Wednesday [en quarts de finale contre Taylor Fritz] at the start of the match, I was playing at a very, very high level. In fact, it hurts me even more because I felt that by playing at this level, I had my chances [pour le titre].

How long can you not play?

It will take three, four weeks. This is usually the time for this kind of injury. So I hope it will allow me to maintain my planned program. I can’t play right away, but in a week I’ll be able to play from the baseline. Of course, I won’t be able to serve for a while. But playing from the baseline shouldn’t present a big problem.

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