Nick Kyrgios, Wimbledon 2022 finalist, on Thursday wished Rafael Nadal a speedy recovery after the Spaniard withdrew from the tournament due to injury. The two were supposed to battle in the semi-finals on Friday. However, with Rafa gone, the Aussie got a walkover.
Kyrgios will face the winner of the semifinal match between No 1 seed Novak Djokovic and Cameron Norrie for the All England title on Sunday.
Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon because of a torn abdominal muscle. The 36-year-old has been bothered by the issue for about a week, and the pain became nearly unbearable in the first set of his 4-hour, 21-minute victory via fifth-set tiebreaker against Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The 22-time Grand Slam winner after the quarters admitted that he had considered stopping before it was over.
He wore two strips of athletic tape on his lower stomach and took a medical timeout to take painkilling pills; his father and sister motioned from the stands for him to quit.
Nick Kyrgios, who will play his first Grand Slam final on Sunday, expressed his hope to meet Rafa soon on a tennis court.
“Different players, different personalities. Rafael Nadal, I hope your recovery goes well and we all hope to see you healthy soon, till next time,” Kyrgios wrote in a social media post.
Nadal was chasing a calendar slam this year. The Spanish legend won the Australian Open in January and French Open in June. He has a 19-0 record in Grand Slam games in 2022.
It is the first time since 1931 that a man pulled out of the oldest Grand Slam tournament before a semifinal or final.
“I made my decision because I believe that I can’t win two matches under these circumstances,” Nadal said at a news conference at the All England Club. “I can’t serve. It’s not only that I can’t serve at the right speed, it’s that I can’t do the normal movement to serve.”