Rafa Nadal: It’s really tough to accept lost opportunity

Rafael Nadal lamented “an opportunity lost” to fight for another Grand Slam title after he was forced to retire from his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic.

The world No 1 and top seed received treatment on his right leg during the fourth set, but he struggled on. However, after being broken early in the deciding set, he went over to the chair umpire to concede the match.

Cilic advanced with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 2-0 win and he will meet Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund for a place in the final.

For Nadal it was a missed opportunity.

“Tough moments – not [for] the first time here,” the 16-time Grand Slam winner said. “I’m a positive person, but today is an opportunity lost to be in a semi-final for a Grand Slam and fight for an important title for me.

“It’s really tough to accept.”

The Spaniard came into the tournament under an injury cloud as he was still recovering from a knee injury, but he admits he is not sure what his latest injury is.

“As I said before, is difficult to know exactly what it is now. Is difficult to know exactly the muscle,” he continued. “This type of injury is difficult to know immediately, no?

“I started to feel the muscle was a little bit tired in the third, but playing normal, no limits, no limitation. Then in the fourth at one movement, one drop-shot I think, I felt something. At that moment I thought something happened, but I didn’t realise how bad, how bad was what’s going on in that moment.

“We need to wait a couple of hours. Tomorrow I am going to do a test, an MRI here, then we will know. I can’t tell you exactly the muscle. It’s here high. High on the leg. But I don’t want to lie. Tomorrow we [are] going to communicate what’s going on after the MRI.”