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I give Nadal a lot of credit for the way he fought: Djokovic praises Rafael Nadal’s fighting spirit for playing through injury

Djokovic was down 2-6 in the first set and then went on to win the match 6-3,6-2,6-4 in straight sets to enter the finals.

Abhishek SandikarAuthor

Updated - 10 July 2022 07:02 PM

nadal (5)

The 2022 Wimbledon final will see Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrigos. But tennis fans were robbed of a possible monumental summit clash between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as the Spaniard had to pull out of the semi-finals because of an abdominal injury. Nadal had worsened his abdominal injury as he reportedly suffered a 7-millimetre tear during his nail-biting quarterfinal match against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday. 

Djokovic opened up about the injury he suffered while facing Taylor Fritz in the 2021 Australian Open. “I do not know what exactly is the nature of Rafa’s injury. I heard that it is an abdominal muscle tear, but I do not know which muscle. I tore an oblique muscle on my left side during the match against Fritz. It is clear that it is extremely hard to play under those conditions, but the whole process depends on where exactly the tear is. Personally, I had the most pain while serving”, Djokovic said.

The 35-year-old then continued, “Together with my physiotherapist Uli, we managed to handle it to a degree that allowed me to play. Although it sounds crazy, I felt better as the time went by. An MRI scan showed that the tear got bigger, but we managed to numb the pain – I was not feeling it during matches, which allowed me to go all the way”.

The Serb also praised Nadal for his fighting spirit and the way he fought through the pain to win the quarter-finals against Fritz. Djokovic said, “Injuries are the worst enemy of every athlete. I give Nadal a lot of credit for the way he fought and won that quarterfinals match with that injury.

“He is the one who knows his body the best, so the decision whether to continue or not was always up to him. It is very sad that a tournament so big as Wimbledon did not have a second semi-final, but it is what it is”. Djokovic was down 2-6 in the first set and then went on to win the match  6-3,6-2,6-4 in straight sets to enter the finals and win his 22nd Grand Slam.

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