Rafa Nadal retires from Wimbledon due to injury: what is the limit for sportsmen?

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Everyone already knew. The last to admit it was him. This already tells a lot about Rafa Nadal and his philosophy of life. The Spanish champion will not play the semifinal a Wimbledon versus Nick Kyrgios. She announced it at a press conference called on Thursday evening. Not an announced press conference, but certainly expected. It was clear from the match against Taylor Fritz they won in the quarterfinals.

The abdominal injury worsened precisely in the match that the 22 Slam champion did not want to interrupt, despite many telling him to do so. Nadal does not give up and when he does he has to think about it for a whole day. There are at least a couple of good reasons for him. First of all he is in the middle of the Grand Slam having won in Australia and Paris, difficult to give up at this point. Nadal tends not to disappoint those who go to see him: he always gives everything. He does not like to retire, he did not do it during the match with Fritz while playing disabled, but winning the same as a demonstration of technical superiority, even without a few hits, and above all tactical and mental.

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He doesn’t like choices being forced upon him. His father told him to quit two days ago, he turned his head to the other side and won the game. Agonistic malice? Yes of course. Nadal is not the type to give up. The will to win borders on and sometimes overcomes selfishness. Someone thought he could give up in the match with Fritz, since it was clear that he would not be able to make the semifinal, and give the American the opportunity to go forward one round: allowing him to play it and the spectators to watch a match. Not Nadal: his head says he must always play.

The limit is something difficult to establish for sportsmen in mind and body. And when you reach it, the words smell of confession. «I’m sorry but I can’t do it, I’m retiring from the tournament. My abs have not improved, it is confirmed that there is a strain. I’ve been thinking all day about what was best for me to do. I’ve decided it doesn’t make sense to risk making the injury worse. In these conditions I can neither play nor win two matches: I cannot serve at full speed, the movement is limited. I have already risked with my foot in Paris: I have to respect myself. I wouldn’t be competitive at this level. More important than any title at this point is my health and happiness“.

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He will be out for 3 or 4 weeks. He said it even fearing the hypothesis of a retirement as he had feared having to do after Roland Garros for the foot. «I hope to be able to continue programming as I had imagined». Then go to the US Open. Not that he hasn’t trained. He did it by living with pain as he has been doing for some time. But Nadal, as we know, aims for perfection and certainly cannot play perfectly with injured abs. And per Nadal half ways do not exist, there is no X between dead or alive. Health, happiness, self-respect and competitiveness are his words, not necessarily in this order of importance. The Majorcan tennis player cannot respect himself if he does not play at maximum competitiveness, this is not there if there is no health and (sporting) happiness is obviously far away. But he too meets the limit: the body cannot go further and the head must accept it. Perhaps this is the only barrier against which the resilience of Rafa Nadal, winner, not by chance, of 22 Grand Slams, stops.


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– The future of tennis? There is still Rafa Nadal

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Source: Vanity Fair

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