Australian Open: Opportunity lost, says furious Rafael Nadal after injury
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal rues injury retirement in quarters against Cilic; blames organisers for missing out on chance to win another Slam
Spain's Rafael Nadal shows his frustration during the Australian Open quarter-final against Croatia's Marin Cilic yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal called on tour organisers to do more to halt injuries to top players after heartache at the Australian Open as he pulled out of his semi-final yesterday. The Spanish World No. 1 retired with a muscle injury while trailing 0-2 to Marin Cilic in the fifth set of a titanic quarter-final struggle on Rod Laver Arena. The look on Nadal's face said it all as he came to terms with missing a big opportunity to go after his 17th Grand Slam title.
Croatia's Marin Cilic
'Tough to accept'
"Tough moments. Is not the first time an opportunity that is gone for me," he said. "I am a positive person, but today is an opportunity lost to be in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam and fight for an important title for me. This has already happened to me a couple of times in this tournament and it's really tough to accept, especially after a tough December when I missed starting the season in Abu Dhabi and then Brisbane." Nadal went into the year's opening Grand Slam tournament with knee concerns.
"I was playing okay. I was playing a match that anything could happen: could win, could lose. He was playing good, too," Nadal said. "But I was fighting for it. I was two sets to one up. Yeah, just have to accept, recover, go back home, stay with my people and keep going. That's all." Nadal said his problem was not hip-related, more a muscle issue high up on his right leg. "I can't tell you exactly the muscle. It's high on the leg. Tomorrow we're going to communicate what's going on after a MRI scan," he said.
Too many injuries
Nadal said tour organisers had to do something about the growing number of injuries among players. "Somebody who is running the tour should think about what's going on. Too many people are getting injured," Nadal said. "I don't know if they think a little bit about the health of the players. I don't know if we keep playing on hard surfaces what's going to happen in the future with our lives."
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