Why has Rafael Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon? The injury that led to his withdrawal

A new injury means that Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon 2022

a medium shot of Rafael Nadal hitting the tennis ball with his bat on Wimbledon court
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

Tennis fans are wondering why Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon 2022 and what happens now.

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon ahead of his semi-final match against Nick Kyrgios. His withdrawal means that Kyrgios has received a walkover into the Wimbledon final, where he will play either Novak Djokovic or Britain's Cameron Norrie, who are playing against each other in the semi-final on July 8.

Nadal's withdrawal will be a disappointment to many - much like the absence of Roger Federer this year - especially as the tennis star was on track to completing a calendar Grand Slam. But after battling an injury in his quarter-final against Taylor Fritz, Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon. Here's why.

Why has Rafael Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon?

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon because of an abdominal injury. He was receiving medical treatment during his recent match against Fritz, and has now announced that the injury will prevent him from continuing in the tournament.

During the match, Nadal's father was caught on camera gesturing for him to quit, while his sister Maria Isabel and pregnant wife Xisca watched on nervously. But the Spaniard continued with the match and came from 2-1 down to win the final two sets.

Speaking on court after the match, Nadal said "In the abdominal something is not going well, being honest. I have to find a way to serve a little bit different. For a lot of moments I was thinking maybe I will not be able to finish the match."

Although the Spaniard was able to strike forehands and backhands without any issues during his match against Fritz, he could not hit his serve at full power.

Rafael Nadal injury update

Spanish media reported that Nadal has suffered a 7mm tear to his abdominal muscle, and he's expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks.

Nadal needed a medical time out during the quarter-final against Fritz, and after undergoing scans the next morning and a delayed training session at Aorangi Park, the Spaniard decided to pull out from the tournament.

Speaking at a press conference, Nadal said "I have to pull out from the tournament. As everyone saw yesterday I have been suffering with a pain in the abdominal and that is confirmed, I have a tear in the muscle.

"It is very tough circumstances but it is obvious if I keep going the injury will be worse and worse."

No stranger to injuries, the Spanish tennis star also had to end his 2021 season early because of a foot injury.

What happens now Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon?

Australian Nick Kyrgios will play either Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie in the final. Kyrgios, who Nadal was supposed to play in the semi-finals, has received a walkover to the Wimbledon final because of Nadal's withdrawal.

The match between Cameron Norrie and Novak Djokovic will take place on July 8, and the winner will progress to the final. 26-year-old Norrie has never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam until this year, while Djokovic has claimed 20 Grand Slams and is seeking a fourth successive Wimbledon win.

Cameron Norrie, pictured here on the court, coul have a spot in the Wimbledon final

British Number 1 Cameron Norrie on court

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Norrie is just the fourth British man in the Open era to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon - the others are Roger Taylor, Tim Henman and Andy Murray. Speaking to the BBC ahead of his match against Djokovic, Norrie said "It's going to be a tough one with his record here at Wimbledon. Grass is his favourite surface. I would say [it's] one of the tougher tasks in tennis."

Top seed Djokovic has won the last three Wimbledon championships in a row.

How many times has Nadal won Wimbledon?

Rafael Nadal has won two Wimbledon titles in 2008 and 2010. His first Wimbledon victory saw the Spaniard defeat Roger Federer, whilst his second Wimbledon win was against Czech player Tomáš Berdych.

The 2008 Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer is one that Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle remembers well. In an interview with Fanatix, Castle said:  “That match changed the game. The gold standard of tennis improved in one match. They pushed each other to mad limits.”

He added: "I remember it was Tim Henman’s first Wimbledon final as a commentator. We both sat there in the commentary box in shock and awe. Nadal with his determination and muscularity is genius."

The 2008 Wimbledon victory also led to Nadal becoming the ATP World No.1 in the Tennis rankings, replacing Federer who was previously No.1.

As for his pulling out of the British tournament this year, many had pegged Nadal for a calendar Grand Slam - winning all four Grand Slam titles in the same year - following his successes in Melbourne and Paris. Though unfortunately his injury has now prevented this.

Rafael Nadal: Tennis Stats

  • Rafael Nadal has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles in total, more than any other male player in tennis history. However, he only recently took the top spot. After winning both the French open and the Australian Open this year, Nadal overtook Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, both of whom have 20 titles to their name
  • He is known as the 'King of Clay', because of his record on clay courts. The French Open is the premier clay event, and Nadal has only lost 3 titles out of the 17 he's played
  • He was also the first player, male or female, to win 100 matches at the French Open
  • He holds the longest single-surface win streak in the Open Era, having won 81 consecutive matches on clay between April 2005 and May 2007
  • He is one of the few players to have won at all four Grand Slam tournaments during his career
  • He’s now won more than a third of the Grand Slams he’s ever played

Who else has pulled out of Wimbledon 2022?

Roger Federer is not competing in Wimbledon 2022. The eight-time Wimbledon champion is still recovering from knee surgery that has prevented him from taking part in the tournament.

The Swiss tennis star (and royal favourite) made the quarter-finals in the 2021 tournament, where he lost in straight sets to the 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

However, both he and Rafael Nadal have confirmed they will return to the court in September for the Laver Cup. Both will be playing for Team Europe, alongside Britain's Andy Murray, who has confirmed he will be making his Laver Cup debut this year, with many wondering how to watch the international tennis tournament. 

On Instagram, Rafael Nadal said "Super happy to be coming to London for the Laver Cup. It is always great to play tennis in front of all my British fans!"

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Ellie Hutchings
Features Editor

Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.