It will be an interesting 36 hours ahead for Rafael Nadal. Today, the defending champion bested Juan Martin Del Potro in a tense 76(6), 36, 76(4), 64 victory. But in doing so, Nadal (seriously?) injured his left foot late in the first set.
“The point with the deuce, that point give me the set point, I felt terrible,” Nadal said. “At that moment, I didn’t know if I will have the chance to continue playing.”
Trainer Paul Ness came on to the court to treat a very concerned looking Nadal just before the tiebreak. The World No. 1 has had a history of injuring problems at Grand Slams most recently injuring his thigh during a loss to David Ferrer at the Australian Open quarterfinals.
After treatment, Nadal look okay and was well enough to pull out the tiebreak and outlast Del Potro in a tough, four hour win over the former US Open champion. But there is some doubt about his future in this title defense.
“I’m worried, for sure,” Nadal said of this latest injury. “I’m going to do the MRI. We’ll see what’s going on. I cannot predict the future.”
If he’s healthy, Nadal will meet Mardy Fish on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. But Nadal, who has beaten the American all five times they’ve played, is cautious.
“He’s playing at a very, very high level. He’s a very dangerous player,” Nadal said of Fish. “I need be at my hundred percent. If not, gonna be impossible against him. So I have to recover.
Let’s see what’s going on and let’s see how the MRI looks,” he added. “And after, let’s see if we have the chance to recover for Wednesday. I don’t know.”
Nadal has won 18 consecutive matches at Wimbledon. This year he’s only lost one set which came at the racquet of Del Potro today.
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