- Rafael Nadal says he ‘hurts’ and ‘couldn’t compete’ with abdominal injury after landing in Spain | Eurosport
“What hurts is that I couldn’t compete in a privileged situation because I was playing well and in the semi-finals of a tournament as important as Wimbledon,” Nadal said after landing in Barcelona on Friday.
“In the end, there is nothing left but to look forward and have a positive attitude.
“You know what’s up, but you always want to play and try to the end. I am a fairly calm person and I try to analyse things with perspective, looking for the logical and rational part.”
A player who loses in qualifying (usually, but not always in the final round) can enter the main draw as a “lucky loser” when someone pulls out through injury or illness. But doing it again when the draw is beyond the first round means a player could theoretically win the title having lost twice, if they lost in qualifying and then again at some later stage.
Fritz is right. If he was not good enough to beat Nadal, he should not have gone through. And if you offer a possibility that someone can go through when they lose a match, it could also lead to a greater risk of match-fixing. As unlikely as it may sound, what would stop a pre-match favourite colluding with an opponent, losing a match deliberately, knowing the other player would pull out and allow them through?
The beauty and the unique challenge of Grand Slam tennis is that players have to navigate a gruelling two-week draw, including seven match-wins over 14 days. While Kyrgios will only have six if he lifts the trophy come Sunday, the idea of Fritz winning despite being knocked out sits even worse from a fairness perspective.
There have only been two walkovers in Grand Slam singles semi-finals in the Open Era. It is 30 years since there was last one in the men’s singles, when Richard Krajicek pulled out of the 1992 Australian Open to hand Jim Courier a place in the final. In the women’s singles you have to go back even further, to the 1988 US Open, when Steffi Graf won by walkover after Chris Evert withdrew.
- QUIZ: 15 questions to test your Wimbledon knowledge | tennismajors.com
If you are a Wimbledon and tennis history lover, you should enjoy this quiz!
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