Rafael Nadal put on an incredible show of willpower to overcome an abdominal injury to beat Taylor Fritz in the Wimbledon quarterfinal.
Nadal has been wearing strapping on his abdomen since Wimbledon started, but he has been reluctant to release many details.
The injury has not appeared to be bothering him too much during the first four rounds, but he was clearly hampered by it against Fritz.
It impacted his serve and backhand slice, as well as restricting his movement. He required a medical time-out in the second set, and he twice had to come back from being a set down.
However, as the match wore on Nadal only got stronger, and he was able to close out a brilliant 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 win to set up a semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios.
Speaking after the match, though, Rafael Nadal admitted that retiring from the match was a serious possibility on a number of occasions.
"The body in general is fine," he said in his on-court interview, "but in the abdominal something is not going well, being honest.
"I had to find a way to serve a little bit different. For a lot of moments I was thinking I would not be able to finish the match but the crowd, the energy, thanks for that.
"I honestly enjoy a lot playing these kind of matches in front of you guys. I can't thank you enough for the support
"It's been a tough afternoon against a great player. Credit to Taylor that he has been doing great all season. Personally for me it was not an easy match at all so it is great to be in the semi-finals."
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