Report: Rafael Nadal Plans to Play with Abdominal Tear Injury in Wimbledon Semifinals

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Rafael Nadal of Spain plays against Taylor Fritz (not seen) of The United States during their Men's Singles Quarter Final match on day ten of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Despite suffering through a painful abdominal injury during his quarterfinal win over Taylor Fritz on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal reportedly plans to play his Wimbledon semifinal match against Nick Kyrgios on Friday.

According to Spanish newspaper Marca (h/t Ben Rothenberg of Racquet Magazine), Nadal wants to play Friday despite dealing with a seven-millimeter tear in his abdominal area.

Remarkably, the second-seeded Nadal outlasted Fritz, 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4), in the quarters to put himself just two wins away from a third career Wimbledon title.

Per ESPN, Nadal's father signaled to him from the stands to quit at one point during the match, and Rafa admitted afterward that there were "a lot of moments" when he doubted he would be able to finish.

During the on-court interview following his win over Fritz, Nadal was noncommittal about the semifinals: "I don't know. Honestly, I can't give you a clear answer. I don't know exactly what I have. It's clear something's not right. I'm obviously worried."

Nadal also said the abdominal issue began a week earlier but got significantly worse during the first set of his quarterfinal match.

If the Spaniard does attempt to fight through the pain Friday, he will face a Grand Slam semifinal debutant in Kyrgios who is playing some of the best tennis of his career.

The 27-year-old Aussie has always been an elite talent, but inconsistency has often held him back.

Though unseeded, Kyrgios beat No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round and Cristian Garin in the quarters.

Kyrgios is a six-time tournament winner on the ATP Tour and was once ranked as high as No. 13 in the world, but his best Grand Slam result before this year's Wimbledon was reaching the quarters at Wimbledon in 2014 and the Australian Open in 2015.

While Kyrgios is just 3-6 in his career against Nadal and has lost each of the past three, he did beat Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014.

He may also have a marked advantage over the 22-time Grand Slam champion on Friday, given Nadal's injury woes.

Provided Nadal vs. Kyrgios happens, the winner of that match will meet the winner of No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 9 Cameron Norrie in the final.