London: Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori pulled out of Wimbledon in agony yesterday mid-way through his last 16 match against Marin Cilic, overcome by the pain from his rib injury.
Japan's Kei Nishikori sports a dejected look after pulling out during his match against Marin Cilic of Croatia yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Nishikori looked completely out of sorts on Court Two and consulted the trainer and doctor before finally throwing in the towel at 6-1, 5-1 down in the fourth round contest.
The rib problem also forced him out of the Halle grass-court warm-up tournament ahead of Wimbledon. "It's the same injury that I had in the first match in Halle. It's not been recovering well these two weeks," Nishikori told reporters.
"After the third round, it got worse. I was hoping to get better, but it was too much pain. So I couldn't really compete.
"I was thinking about it in the second set" he said of his withdrawal. "Even before the match, I knew it was not going to be easy for me to play 100 per cent.
Also Marin was playing great on the court. Every point I played, it got worse. I didn't want to, but I guess I had to retire." Croatian ninth seed Cilic now faces seven-time champion Roger Federer in Wednesday's quarter-finals.
2008: Nishikori retires during his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon due to a stomach muscle injury.
2009: A right elbow injury rules him out for most of the year and goes under the knife in August.
2010: Returns full-time in April but retires from the US Open during his third round match with groin injury.
2012: Withdraws from Madrid, Rome and the French Open due to abdominal injury.
2013: Retires from the Brisbane semi-finals with left knee injury.
2014: Retires in the third set of the Madrid final with lower back injury. Withdraws ahead of Miami semi-final with left groin injury.
2015: Withdraws ahead of his Wimbledon second round match with left calf injury.
2016: Pulls out of the Wimbledon warm-up tournament at Halle with a rib injury. Plays with the injury for three rounds at Wimbledon before pulling out during his fourth round match.