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'Only Rafael Nadal would know how to win that match,' says top analyst

Alex Corretja says 'only' Rafael Nadal could have overcome that injury to beat Taylor Fritz. (Despite the fact someone else overcame the same injury to beat the same player fairly recently, apparently...)
Rafael Nadal backhand Wimbledon

Alex Corretja says he believes that Rafael Nadal is the only player in the world who could have won his Wimbledon quarterfinal against Taylor Fritz.

Nadal suffered an abdominal injury during the early stages of the match and required a medical time-out.

He was very visibly suffering on his shots, especially his serve and backhand slice, but he still managed to come through the pain and win it in a final-set champion's tiebreak.

"This is unreal, this is epic," Corretja told Eurosport. "Only if you are Rafa Nadal are you able to know how to win this match – I have no clue how he did it, honestly.

"You could see Rafa was struggling with his abdominals, he probably played better when he was returning because he was using his hands more and hitting the ball a little harder.

"Sometimes when you are tired, instead of using your body you use your wrist and the ball goes even faster – that’s how I think Rafa found a way."

There was a remarkable moment in the second set when Rafael Nadal was being urged by his father and sister in his box to quit the match.

RELATED: Rafael Nadal says he ‘has not made a decision’ on potential Wimbledon withdrawal

He ignored them though and fought on instead, and Corretja said the 48-hour rest period between quarterfinal and semi-final may have been key to his thinking.

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"[His family] saw him suffering on the court and thought that if he can’t hit the ball properly then just go – it doesn’t make any sense.

"But he stayed there, most probably thinking that even if he’s not at 100% that he feels like he can win and he now has 48 hours to recover.

"Maybe he will have an anti-inflammatory, tomorrow he rests, then in 48 hours he might feel, maybe not 100%, but at least better and then he’ll see how he feels.

"Only Rafa Nadal, I think, can stay on the court and manage this type of situation because he is used to suffering so many of these type of injuries throughout his career."

Author's comment: What Rafael Nadal achieved during the match was absolutely remarkable and he deserves nothing but the highest credit for it.

However, Corretja is being a little unnecessarily dismissive of Novak Djokovic in his comments.

The same thing happened to Djokovic at the Australian Open: same injury, same opponent, same outcome. So, remarkable as it was, perhaps not 'only' Rafael Nadal, Alex...

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