Rafael Nadal reveals what his angry dad told him during Wimbledon quarter-final

Rafael Nadal defied his family’s wishes by battling through injury to record a remarkable five-set victory over Taylor Fritz – but gave no guarantees he will take to Centre Court for his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal came into the match with an abdominal problem and looked set to retire at a couple of moments but somehow recovered to claim a 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (4) victory after four hours and 20 minutes.

The Spaniard’s father Sebastian gestured to his son to call it a day when he went off for treatment midway through the second set, and Nadal shook his head towards his box after losing the third, with Fritz seemingly waiting for a handshake.

‘Tomorrow I’m going to have some more tests,’ he said. ‘But it’s difficult to know. I am used to having things and I am used to holding pain and to play with problems. Knowing that, when I feel something like I felt, that is because something is not going the proper way in the abdominal.

‘I had these feelings for a couple of days. Without a doubt, today was the worst day. It has been an important increase of pain and limitation.

‘Nothing can be fixed when you have a thing like this. I’m proud about the fighting spirit and the way that I managed to be competitive under those conditions.’

Asked if he thought he would be able to take on Kyrgios, Nadal said: ‘I need to know different opinions and I need to check everything the proper way. That is even something more important than winning Wimbledon, that is the health.’

Tape had been evident on Nadal’s stomach during his fourth-round victory over Botic van de Zandschulp but there were no early signs of discomfort as he eased into a 3-1 lead over 24-year-old Fritz, who was playing in his first grand slam quarter-final.

The American began to put real pressure on Nadal’s serve, though, and turned things around to win the first set with a run of five games in a row.

He then retrieved another early break at the start of the second but Nadal somehow managed to take that set before hopes of a miraculous recovery faded again in the third.

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