Rafael Nadal sustained a “seven millimeters tear” (just over a quarter of an inch) in one of his abs, but is set to play in his semifinal match with Nick Kyrgios on Friday, according to Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
Nadal practiced for 44 minutes with coach Marc López on Thursday with, as Marca put it, “an occasional serve”.
He sustained the injury on Wednesday during the second set of his five-set quarterfinal victory over American Taylor Fritz. Nadal needed a medical time-out to pause the game and was given anti-inflammatories. His father, Sebastian Nadal, even gestured for his son to retire of the game after the injury.
Nadal, however, did not listen. He fought through apparent pain and forced a crucial fifth set after dropping the third and fourth set to Fritz. Nadal won the tiebreak of the fifth set to advance with Kyrgios to the semifinals 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. 5-7, 6-7 (4) win.
Immediately after the game, Nadal admitted he wasn’t sure he would be healthy enough to play on Friday. He said he would have “some more tests” after being in pain for the past week. At one point, Nadal said he didn’t know if he could finish the game and find another way to serve the ball.
“I thought for a lot of moments that I might not be able to finish the game,” Nadal said on Wednesday.
Nadal and Kygrios will face each other Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET.