Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon run continues after conjuring yet another miracle. Struggling against Fritz’s all-out attack in the opening set and a half whilst hemmed in by an abdomen strain, the Spaniard looked close to retiring. His father insisted he withdraw from the tie, but Nadal waived his appeals, choosing to soldier on. A mixture of grit and intelligence, Rafa dug deep to outlast his American opponent in five often erratic but wildly exciting sets.

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But the punishing 4-hour-21-minute classic has taken a further toll on his already fraying body. Spanish publication Marca reports that the second seed has suffered a 7 mm abdominal tear. Although the double Wimbledon winner still wishes to contest his semi against the mercurial Nick Kyrgios, Nadal skipped his afternoon practice sessions today.

The Mallorcan has prior experience playing with an abdominal strain. In 2009, Nadal went into his US Open semi-final against Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro with a 2 cm tear. The Argentine did not give the southpaw a sniff, blowing him away 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in a brisk but brutal dismissal.

But if anything, Nadal’s intensity shines through in such moments. Battling his body since the early years, the great master finds extra gear on such grand occasions. It was a pattern that played out against Fritz as well:

“I honestly enjoy a lot playing these kinds of matches. It was a tough afternoon against a great player, so credit to Taylor, who has been playing great all season. It was not easy at all, so I’m just very happy to be in the semi-finals. The body, in general, is fine, but of course, something is going wrong in the abdomen. I had to find a way to serve a bit different. I thought I might not be able to finish the match, but this court and the energy is something else,” said Nadal.

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But with Kyrgios on the prowl, it is to be seen whether Nadal’s body holds up for another bruising encounter.