Rafael Nadal’s quest for a calendar-year Grand Slam lives on for another round at Wimbledon—barely.

The 22-time major champion overcame an in-form Taylor Fritz and abdominal issue to prevail, 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4), after well over four hours of battling on Wednesday. With it comes a blockbuster follow-up: a showdown with Nick Kyrgios, who advanced to his first major semifinal by dispatching Cristian Garin.

Early into the contest, Nadal was seen clutching his abdominal area, a trend that would persist. At times, he struggled to move at full speed, though did hold 3-1 and 3-0 leads in the first two sets before seeing them erased by the opposition.

At 4-3 in the second set, Nadal was visited by the trainer and left the court to receive treatment. It appeared his family did not want him to continue, but the two-time winner carried on, and eventually broke to level the contest.

Serving at 1-1, 30-40, Nadal double-faulted and bent over as he winced again. Fritz wrapped up the third set with a double break when Nadal yanked a crosscourt forehand wide.

Nadal is looking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

Nadal is looking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.


Nadal twice saw break advantages erased by Fritz in the fourth set. He served to stay in it, 4-5, 0-15, then regained control to push the clash into a decider.

Both players held comfortably in the early goings. Then tension built.

At 2-3, Nadal stared down deuce. In the following game, Fritz saved two break points, the first with a backhand that kissed the net and trickled over, but Nadal seized a third with a forehand up the line-backhand drop shot winning combo.

Fritz didn’t go away. A nifty backhand half volley coupled with some mistakes from Nadal saw the American get back on serve. And from there, the two held to arrive at a decisive 10-point tiebreak.

Nadal bolted out to a 5-0 start, forcing the issue on Fritz’s backhand side. Three straight points from Fritz cut the gap briefly, but the No. 2 seed pulled away to shut the door.

Kyrgios and Nadal have met twice at Wimbledon; the Australian ousted the lefty in 2014, while Nadal claimed their 2019 meeting. Both went four sets.

Stay tuned for a full reaction from Steve Tignor.