Why did Rafael Nadal pull out of Wimbledon 2022? Will Nick Kyrgios go into final - walkover meaning in tennis

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon with injury, as Cameron Norrie and Novak Djokivic prepare to play their semi-final.

Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal was set to take his place in a potentially explosive Wimbledon semi-final lineup on Friday afternoon.

Despite suffering a raft of injuries over the last six months and battling with a degenerative foot condition, Nadal showed all of the qualities that have established him as one of the greatest players of all time.

However, the 22-time Grand Slam winner’s bid to claim a third Wimbledon title has been ended by a new injury.

How did Nadal reach the semi-final?

After seemingly seeing off a number of injuries, Nadal has ground his way through to the final four of this year’s tournament.

Four-set wins against Francisco Cerundolo and Ricardas Bernakis were followed up by straight-set victories over 27th seed Lorenzo Sonego and 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp.

Nadal showed his endurance and skill to come through a testing quarter-final against Taylor Fritz as he battled to a 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 win over the American.

That sent Nadal into his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and he was due to face Nick Kyrgios on Friday.

Why has Nadal chosen to withdraw from his semi-final against Kyrgios?

It’s safe to say the Spaniard has enjoyed a remarkable year despite battling with a degenerative condition that impacts on the bones in his feet.

Nadal claimed the Australian Open by seeing off world number one Daniil Medvedev and then suffered an Indian Wells Final defeat against future Wimbledon opponent Taylor Fritz as a rib injury hampered his attempts to win a 21st consecutive win of the year.

Another Grand Slam title was secured with a straight sets win over Casper Ruud in the final of the French Open last month, despite Nadal needing injections to numb the pain in his left foot.

However, it is an abdominal injury that has brought a premature end to his bid for a first Wimbledon title since 2010.

What has Nadal said about his withdrawal?

Nadal gave an emotional press conference confirming the abdominal injury had brought an end to his attempts to land yet another Wimbledon title.

Rafael Nadal speaks to the press after confirming his withdrawal from Wimbledon.Rafael Nadal speaks to the press after confirming his withdrawal from Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal speaks to the press after confirming his withdrawal from Wimbledon.

Speaking on Thursday, he told the national and international media: “I have tried a lot of times in my career to keep going but it is obvious the injury will get worse.

“Throughout the whole day I have been thinking about the decision to make.  I think it doesn’t make sense to play. I feel very sad to say that.

“I can’t imagine myself winning two matches and for respect to myself in some way I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough.

“A couple of weeks ago I saw my career very different because of the foot injury.

“The most important thing is happiness more than any titles. I can’t risk that match and stay two or three months out of the competition.

“I am very sad and it is a very tough one.”

What has Kyrgios said, will he go straight into the final and walkover explained

Reacting to the news of Nadal’s withdrawal, Kyrgios wrote on Instagram: “Verified different players, different personalities. @rafaelnadal I hope your recovery goes well and we all hope to see you healthy soon. Till next time…”

It has been confirmed that the Australian will get a walkover into the next round, meaning he will play in Sunday’s final without having to play a final four encounter.

A walkover revers to when a playing is allowed to automatically progress to the next round of a competition - this can be due to opponent injury, illness or code of conduct penalties preventing them for playing.

Who could Kyrgios now play in the Men’s Singles Final?

It will not be the way the Australian star wanted to reach the final of Wimbledon but it is now confirmed that he will take in place in Sunday’s showpiece.

It is new ground for the 27-year-old as he makes his first ever appearance in a Grand Slam singles final.

His only previous Slam final came in the Australian Open Men’s Doubles earlier this year when he partnered compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis to a 7-5, 6-4 win over fellow Aussies Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell.

Kyrgios’ previous best performance at Wimbledon was when he reached the quarter-final in 2014 before suffering a 7-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 defeat against Canada’s Milos Raonic.

World Number Three Novak Djokovic or Britain’s Cameron Norrie will provide his opponent in the final.