Wimbledon 2022: Rafael Nadal bids EMOTIONAL goodbye to staff after he pulls out of tournament – WATCH | Tennis News

Rafa Nadal’s hopes of completing a rare calendar-year Grand Slam ended on Thursday when the Spaniard pulled out of his highly-anticipated showdown with Australian Nick Kyrgios with an abdominal strain. Nadal won the Australian and French Opens back-to-back this year for the first time in his career and was bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the calendar-year slam.

“I have to pull out of the tournament as I have been suffering with pain in abdominal,” said the 36-year-old, the holder of a men’s record 22 Grand Slam titles.

“Unfortunately, I have to pull out from the tournament,” the dejected Spaniard told reporters at a hastily arranged news conference, less than 24 hours before his semi-final.

“As everybody saw yesterday (in the quarter-final), I have been suffering with abdominal pain. I knew something was not okay there. Yeah, that’s confirmed. I have a tear in the muscle in the abdomen.

“I was thinking during the whole day about the decision to make.”

Meanwhile, Nadal bid an emotional goodbye to Wimbledon staff before his departure from SW19. In the video shared by the official Twitter handle of Wimbledon, the Spaniard can be seen carrying his playing kit on his back as he prepared to leave the hallowed grounds with his team. He hugged one of the staff members before stopping to bid farewell and say thank you to a couple of other staff members and pose for a photo with fans.

Watch the video here:

Notably, with Nadal’s withdrawal, unseeded 27-year-old Kyrgios became the first Australian to reach the men’s singles final at the All England Club since Mark Philippoussis in 2003. In the summit clash, Kyrgios will lock horns with Novak Djokovic, who defeated Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to enter final.

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