Nadal defies injury to reach last four at Wimbledon — RT Sport News

The Spaniard overcame abdominal struggles to win an epic quarter-final in five sets against American Taylor Fritz

Rafael Nadal battled injury to defeat Taylor Fritz in a marathon quarter-final at Wimbledon as the Spaniard kept up his hopes of a 23rd Grand Slam title.

Chasing a Grand Slam of the calendar after triumphs at the Australian Open and French Open already this year, Nadal’s familiar injury issues had seemed to catch up with him as the 36-year-old was hampered by an abdominal problem throughout the contest with the impressive Fritz on a captivated Center Court on Wednesday.

But the Spaniard dug deep to stay in the competition before winning a fifth-set tie-break to win the match 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4) in a contest that lasted the good part of four and a half hours.

Nadal will now meet Nick Kyrgios in the last four on Friday, after the Australian maverick reached his first-ever Grand Slam semi-final when he faced Chilean Cristian Garin in straight sets when they met earlier today.

Even in a career as stellar as Nadal’s, it was surely a win to rank among the boldest he’s ever won, as he somehow found the reserves against the promising Fritz, who was making his first appearance at this stage of a Grand Slam.

After defying a foot injury en route to the French Open title last month, Nadal’s dreams of a third Wimbledon title look destined to be hampered by a different illness as this time he has battled a problem abdominal.

The Spaniard needed off-court medical attention midway through the second set against Fritz, having already given up the first set to the 24-year-old.

But after returning to the court, Nadal bounced back and leveled the match at one set apiece.

Fritz, who beat Nadal to win a maiden ATP Masters title in Indian Wells in March, was more authoritative in the third set by breaking Nadal’s serve twice.

However, the veteran got back into contention to win a toppling set four in front of a feverish crowd at SW19.

In the fifth set and it looked like two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal had rejuvenated again.

Fritz saved three points in an epic game seven before Nadal broke his rival’s resistance to claim a break of serve that seemed destined to determine the outcome of the game.

But remarkably, the icy Fritz turned back at the first opportunity to tie the set at 4-4.

Both players kept their composure to make the set 6-6, sending them to a 10-point tie-break – a format only introduced at Wimbledon this year.

It was Nadal who prevailed 10-4 as the number two seed continues to target a first title at the All England Club since 2010.

Nadal admitted after the game that he wasn’t even sure he could finish it, and there will inevitably be concerns that the nature of his injury could further hamper his chances as he prepares for a fixture. with Kyrgios, who is in career. -best course in Grand Slam and in a formidable form.

Even if Nadal beat Kyrgios, elsewhere in the draw lurks the formidable presence of six-time Wimbledon winner and generational rival Novak Djokovic, who emerged from his own quarter-final in five sets against young Italian Jannik Sinner on Tuesday.

But those will at least be questions for another day for Nadal as he once again challenged his advancing years to savor a superbly resilient victory.

Djokovic makes emotional comeback to keep Wimbledon hopes alive

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