Rafael Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon in the semis due to injury

Rafael Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon on Thursday due to a torn stomach muscle, announcing his decision a day before he was due to play in the semifinals.

“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, if I'm here, I'll have to withdraw from the tournament,” Nadal said at a news conference at the All England Club.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was scheduled to face Nick Kyrgios for a berth in the final on Friday.

Kyrgios reached his first final at a major tournament. He will meet either Novak Djokovic or Cam Norrie for the championship on Sunday.

Related: Wimbledon 2022: Tennis' bad boy Nick Kyrgios is on a roll

Second-seeded Nadal, 36, of Spain, is 19-0 in 2022 Grand Slam action, including trophies at the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June. This put him halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

Nadal has been bothered by an abdominal muscle for nearly a week, and the pain became almost unbearable in the first set of his 4-hour, 21-minute victory over Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals on Wednesday in a fifth-set tiebreaker.

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After that match, Nadal said he considered quitting. He took a medical timeout to take painkillers and his father and sister motioned from the stands to let him off.

On Thursday off, Nadal went to the All England Club for light practice. He signed up on the official schedule to train on a competition court but did not attend, opting instead for a practice court to which fans had no access.

Mostly content to hit forehands and backhands, Nadal attempted a few serves – the part of his game that most clearly revealed his inability to play with full force and, he said, caused the most discomfort against Fritz. These exercises on Thursday are typically used to Nadal's standards, not with the body-torque efforts he usually uses.

Not too far removed from what happened to Nadal at Roland Garros, where he took repeated injections to numb chronic pain in his left leg and insisted he had no idea when he would be unable to take the court.

Reporting by the Associated Press.

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