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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon due to an injury

Rafael Nadal announced his withdrawal from Wimbledon at a news conference in London on Thursday.
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Rafael Nadal announced his withdrawal from Wimbledon at a news conference in London on Thursday.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the tournament due to an abdominal muscle injury. The decision was made a day before he was scheduled to face Nick Kyrgios in the men's semifinals.

"Unfortunately, as you can imagine, if I am here, it's because I have to pull out from the tournament," Nadal said during a news conference.

Nadal had been experiencing discomfort in his stomach muscle for about a week, but the pain became nearly unbearable during the first set of his fifth-set victory in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. He wore tape on his abdomen during the match and required a medical timeout to take painkillers. He said he had considered stopping after the match.

On Thursday's off-day, however, Nadal went to the All England Club for some light practice, mostly hitting forehands and backhands. He did attempt a few serves, which he was unable to play with full force. He said the serves also caused the most discomfort during Wednesday's quarterfinals match against Taylor Fritz.

Nadal said he had a tear in one of his abdominal muscles. Nadal said that it didn't make sense to keep going in the tournament, and described it as "very tough circumstances."

"I think it's obvious that if I keep going, the injury is going to be worse and worse, and that's the thing that I can say now and feel very sad to say that," he said.

Nadal's withdrawal means that Kyrgios advanced to his first final at a major tournament, and will face either Novak Djokovic or Cam Norrie for the championship on Sunday. Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open earlier this year, and a victory at Wimbledon would have expanded his Grand Slam record to 23 titles.

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Shruti Rajkumar