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'Impossible to win like this' - How Rafael Nadal followed his own previous injury advice

Say whatever you want about Rafael Nadal's Wimbledon withdrawal due to injury, but he has proven the courage of his convictions...
Rafael Nadal discusses Wimbledon chances

Rafael Nadal has ultimately taken his own advice and shown the courage of his convictions with his Wimbledon withdrawal. 

Nadal underwent scans on his injured abdomen after his Wimbledon quarterfinal win over Taylor Fritz, and they revealed a 7mm tear.

After a brief practice at Wimbledon, during which he tested his serve, Nadal announced he had decided to not to play his semi-final, granting Nick Kyrgios a walkover into his first Grand Slam final.

Perhaps, though, we should have all seen it coming. After all, Nadal commented on this very scenario at the 2021 Australian Open when the same injury hit Novak Djokovic.

“I started with six millimetres or so of strain and I finished the tournament, which I lost in the semi-finals, with 26 millimetres. Of course it wasn’t a smart decision (to keep playing),” Rafael Nadal said.

“You need to find a balance, but of course at this point of my career, if there is a big chance to increase something very important, probably I will not play.

RELATED: Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon with injury, saying: ‘I can’t serve’

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“For me the happiness is much more important than giving me a chance to win. And at the same time, if you are bad, you will not win. That’s clear. If you really have physical problems, you will not win.

“If you have some pain and it’s not putting you in a situation that limits you, the movements, maybe you can find a way.

“But when you really, really have an injury, it’s impossible to win a tournament like this.”

It should be noted that Djokovic actually did win that tournament, defying the pain for the rest of the tournament in a quite remarkable display of mental strength.

There was a cost, though, with him then unable to play for two months whilst the injury, that he had worsened in his attempts to carry on in Melbourne, healed.

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