Rafael Nadal Wimbledon 2022

Rafael Nadal fully within his rights with Wimbledon withdrawal, says two US legends

Rafael Nadal was absolutely within his rights to complete his Wimbledon quarterfinal, says two former world number ones.

Nadal aggravated an abdominal injury in his last-eight win over Taylor Fitz at Wimbledon with scans revealing a 7mm tear.

He was able to battle through the match and win it, but withdrew the following day meaning Nick Kyrgios received a bye into the final.

That angered some tennis fans, who believed Rafael Nadal should have withdrawn during the match and not denied Fritz – and tennis fans – a Wimbledon semi-final.

Fritz himself has had he wouldn’t have wanted that, and Andy Roddick has defended Nadal’s right to make the decision he did.

“You can’t lose in the semis and win a slam,” Roddick said regarding a possible new ‘lucky loser’ rule that would have allowed Fritz to advance.

“No, Rafa should’ve tried to win and then hoped that the scans weren’t that bad and that he could recover.

“They weren’t and he can’t. [It’s] not his job to protect the other players.”

Those views found favour with another former world number one, with Tracy Austin tweeting her total agreement.

“Couldn’t agree more,” she said whilst quote-tweeting Andy Roddick. “When you are in thick of playing, you have no idea how it will feel next day.

“Many times an injury feels better than you thought it would. You get to continue.

“Can you imagine Rafa pulling out mid-match, then felt good enough to play, half way to calendar grand slam? No!”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.