Rafael Nadal said a “seven-millimeter tear” (a little more than a quarter of an inch) in one of his abdominal muscles but still wants to play in his semifinal match with Nick Kyrgios on Friday, according to the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
Nadal practiced for 44 minutes on Thursday with coach Marc López with, as Marca put it, “the occasional serve.”
He suffered the injury during the second set of his five-set quarterfinal win over American Taylor Fritz on Wednesday. Nadal needed a medical timeout to pause the match and was given anti-inflammatories. His father, Sebastian Nadal, even gestured for his son to retire from the match following the injury.
Nadal did not listen, though. He battled through obvious pain and forced a pivotal fifth set after dropping the third and fourth sets to Fritz. Nadal won the fifth set tiebreaker to move on to the semifinal match with Kyrgios with the 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. 5-7, 6-7 (4) victory.
Immediately following the match, Nadal admitted he wasn’t sure if he would be healthy enough to play Friday. He said he would have “some more tests” after already experiencing pain for the past week. At one point, Nadal said he didn’t know if he could finish the match and had to find a different way to serve the ball.
“For a lot of moments I was thinking maybe I will not be able to finish the match,” Nadal said Wednesday.
Nadal and Kygrios face off at 8:30 am ET on Friday morning.