Twenty-two-time Major champion Rafael Nadal is enjoying his vacation in Formentera with his family and friends. Rafa is taking a few days off after a tough Wimbledon campaign that ended with his withdrawal before his semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios.
Rafa enjoys his favorite activities on his beautiful yacht, including riding a jet ski with a friend on the waves. After two Major titles earlier this year, Nadal was aiming for a third straight in London. His chances were drastically reduced after an abdominal injury prevented him from practicing his serve or working on his initial shot.
The Spaniard did not play well in the opening two rounds against Francisco Cerundola and Ricardas Berankis, losing two sets and spending six and a half hours on court. Rafa looked better against Lorenzo Sonego and Botic Van De Zandschulp, beating them in straight sets and conserving his energy for the tougher task of the quarter-finals.
Rafael Nadal is enjoying his vacation with family and friends.
Dealing with a 7mm tear in his stomach, Rafa gave his 120% in a 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 triumph over Taylor Fritz in four hours and 20 minutes! Nadal reached his eighth Wimbledon semi-final after a monumental effort, refusing to back down and trying his best to at least finish the match.
Fritz rattled off five straight games in the opening set, overcoming a slow start to take a 6-3 lead. Rafa built up an advantage in the second set before the youngster moved back to 3-3. Fritz served to stay in the set at 5-6 and Nadal took a late break to secure it and level the score on aggregate.
Taylor took the lead in the third set and earned multiple breaks in games three and nine for 6-3 and a new advantage. Nadal spoke with the doctor and decided to fight to the end despite the apparent struggle. Rafa led 4-2 in the fourth set and Taylor came back in the eighth game to level the score at 4-4.
The Spaniard forced an opponent’s error in the 11th game to open up a 6-5 lead, and a few minutes later hit a forehand winner to force a decider. Both players were serving well at the start of the fifth set before Rafa converted a fourth break chance with a drop shot winner for a 4-3 lead.
Taylor broke in the next to make it 5-4 with a crosscourt backhand winner as she stood the game away from the finish line. Rafa hit a perfect volley winner at 5-5 and more drama. The match went to a decisive tie break and Nadal took the lead 7:3 after the winning volley.
At 8-3, he won six match points with a forehand down the line and the second with a forehand winner that came up top. Rafa will start training as soon as possible, even if he can’t work on his serve for a few more weeks.