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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday July 6, 2022

 
Nadal

Rafael Nadal survived a five-set battle with Taylor Fritz to keep his Wimbledon hopes alive on Wednesday in London.

Photo Source: Getty

Rafael Nadal is still perfect at the Grand Slams in 2022.

His body, on the other hand, is far from it.

Tennis Express

The Spaniard admitted to nearly retiring from his quarter-final with Taylor Fritz on Wednesday at Wimbledon, but after a second-set medical timeout in the locker room, the 22-time major champion resolutely revived his hopes and stormed past Fritz in four hours and 21 minutes, 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 [10-4].

“From my personal side it was not an easy match at all,” he said of the win over Fritz, on a day that also marked the 14-year anniversary of Nadal's first Wimbledon title. “So just very happy to be in the semi finals, that’s all.”

After the match Nadal hinted that he’s not so sanguine about his hopes in the semi-finals, where he will face volatile Aussie Nick Kyrgios for the tenth time in his career, and the third at Wimbledon.

"The body, in general [is] fine,” Nadal said. “Of course in the abdominal something is not going well, being honest. So yeah, I had to find a way to serve a little bit different. In a lot of moments I was thinking maybe I will not be able to finish the match but I don't know the court, the energy something else [helped me through].”


Nadal fought valiantly against Fritz, and appeared to find his physicality more and more as the match progressed. He withstood 19 aces from the hard-serving American, and managed 56 winners against 42 unforced errors to pull through with his 310th Grand Slam victory.

Nadal held a break lead in the fifth set, but yielded it. But when it came to crunch time in teh ten-point tiebreak to decide the contest, the 36-year-old hit the ground running and raced out to a 5-0 lead. It was too much for Fritz to recover and Nadal closed his victory, improving to 8-0 in Wimbledon quarterfinals, and 58-12 lifetime at SW19.

Though he was happy to be through, there was a black cloud of worry about how he’ll pull up on Friday for the semifinals.

Nadal and Kyrgios have split two Wimbledon meetings, with the Aussie stunning Nadal in 2014, in the round of 16, before Nadal got revenge in 2019, in the second round.

Kyrgios reached his first major semifinal earlier on Wednesday, defeating Chile’s Cristian Garin, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.

“First thing I hope to be ready to play it, that's the first thing no?” Nadal said of the match with the World No.40. “Nick is is he's a great player in in all the surfaces but especially here on grass. He's having a great grass court season it is going to be a big challenge, I need to be at my 100 percent to keep having chances and that’s what I am going to try to do."

 

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