Rafael Nadal hurt by lost opportunity after injury blow

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal was left unable to compete in his Wimbledon men’s singles semi-final against Nick Kyrgios with an abdominal injury but suggested that the lost opportunity has hurt him more.

Nadal surrendered a chance to win his third Wimbledon title just two matches shy of glory.

While he managed to complete his quarterfinal against Taylor Fritz and progress, he was not passed fit to face Kyrgios having suffered an abdominal tear in the match against the American.

It is the second time this season that Nadal has suffered an injury taking on the lanky American after he injured his ribs in the Indian Wells final loss to Fritz.

Nadal is hoping to put the disappointment behind him and work towards a full tilt at the US Open, where it appears likely Novak Djokovic will not compete.

“What hurts is that I couldn’t compete in a privileged situation because I was playing well and in the semi-finals of a tournament as important as Wimbledon,” Nadal said after landing in Barcelona on Friday.

“In the end, there is nothing left but to look forward and have a positive attitude.

“You know what’s up, but you always want to play and try to the end. I am a fairly calm person and I try to analyse things with perspective, looking for the logical and rational part.”

Compatriot Alex Corretja believes Nadal made the right call, feeling he wasn’t likely to overcome Nick Kyrgios and win the final in an injured state.

Speaking to Eurosport, Corretja said: “For him to play on two days in these circumstances, it was going to be very difficult. I know it’s difficult for him to make the decision, but I think it’s a smart decision because if you can’t play at your top level, it’s going to be almost impossible to win the Slam.

“I believe the most important thing for him now is to recover and take time off because if you get a tough injury, like three or four months again, away from the tournaments it will be devastating for his mind and for his goals for the year.

“We always support Rafa – especially now – and it’s a shame. If he knew that he wouldn’t be able to play the semi-final, I’m sure he would have retired. But he didn’t, and he thought that he might have a chance.”