Rafael Nadal appeared to be considering quitting his Wimbledon quarterfinal match against American Taylor Fritz in the early going.
He sat with his head in his hands, his abdomen hurting. Calling the trainer. His family and friends were worried. Nadal was off.
Tennis fans have learned not to underestimate Rafael Nadal over the past two decades. Don't dismiss him.
The 36-year-old Spaniard beat Fritz in five sets, 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(4), in 4 hours, 20 minutes. Nadal has won 19 straight major matches this year after winning the Australian and French Opens. Nadal is 4-0 in 2022 five-setters.
There's no doubt about the difficulty of the match, but "all the credit goes to Taylor because he's been playing really well this year," Rafael Nadal said.
"It wasn't an easy match for me personally, so I'm just happy to be in the semifinals, right?" "It's all done."
Nadal needs two wins to win his third Wimbledon and 23rd major. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have 20 each. His path forward is tricky.
Nadal said he's fine despite his abdominal injury. Abdominal problems are obvious. Truthful. I had to serve differently. Yes, I thought I wouldn't be able to finish the match, but the court and energy are amazing. Thanks"