Injured Nadal Retires To Cilic At Australian Open; Edmund Stuns Dimitrov For First Slam SF
by Staff | January 23rd, 2018, 8:34 am
  • 65 Comments

The upsets and surprises kept coming Tuesday at the Australian Open. A day after Novak Djokovic was ousted, Rafael Nadal followed, in disheartening fashion retiring to Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals down 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2, 2-0 with what appeared to be an upper right leg issue.

Nadal held the lead by two sets to one but at some point in the fourth the World No. 1 injured that upper right leg/hip area chasing a drop shot. Down 1-4, Nadal called for a medical timeout for treatment.

He continued on and started moving a little better, perhaps because of the tablets kicking in. But after dropping the fourth, he again received treatment and upon returning it was evident he would not last for much longer.

At the 3:56 mark in the match, he retired for just the second time in his Grand Slam career after 2010 Australian Open quarters to Andy Murray which was a knee.

“I can’t say because I don’t know,” Nadal said of the injury.

“In the fourth at one movement, one dropshot I think, I felt something. At that moment I thought something happened, but I didn’t realize how bad, how bad was what’s going on in that moment.

“High on the leg. But I don’t want to lie. Tomorrow we going to communicate what’s going on after the MRI. You know, is not the moment to say what’s going on or what not going on because we really don’t know and the doctor really don’t know yet.”

Nadal’s bid for a second career Grand Slam comes to an end, and he falls to just 5-5 in Australian Open quarterfinal matches.

Cilic moves into his fifth Grand Slam semifinal, his second in Melbourne after 2010 when he lost to Murray who got there after a Rafa retirement.

“In the end very unfortunate because Rafa is always fighting really hard, always giving the best on the court,” Cilic said. “I guess in the pre-season he had some troubles with the injuries, but he came here prepared really, really well. He played a very good tournament. Obviously very sad for him to finish the way he did.

After a post-Wimbledon final slump, Cilic is happy to be back playing good tennis again. And before the injury, he was pushing Nadal around.

“Extremely pleased with my own game,” Cilic said. “Even in these other matches before this one, I played great tennis. Very, very high level. Had a tough match against Carreno Busta in the last round. Then today, beginning of the match was not the best. I made some unforced errors in some moments. 4-3 serving with new balls, lost that set 6-3. I was a break down in the second.”

Next for Cilic is a Brit in the semifinals, just not that Brit. British No. 2 Kyle Edmund made like injured British No. 1 Andy Murray by stunning the third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov to reach his very first Grand Slam semifinal.

The 49th-ranked Edmund was paced by his huge forehand and errors from the Bulgarian who slumped after a scintillating performance Sunday night against Nick Kyrgios.

Edmund became the sixth British man to make a Slam semifinal. And he did it by winning his first match in 15 against a Top 10 player.

“I am loving it right now, just the way I’m playing,” Edmund said. “I’m 23 years old, my first Grand Slam semifinal. First time I played on one of the biggest courts in the world. To beat a quality of player like Grigor. Of course, all these things I’m aware of. They’re great feelings. You don’t obviously play in the semifinals of a Grand Slam every day, or a quarters like today.

“I just try to enjoy it as much as possible, like I said. I knew I was in a good place. There’s no reason why my tennis wasn’t good enough to win. It’s obviously about going out there and doing it.”

Edmund came out quick in the match but the Bulgarian made a comeback, though couldn’t sustain the momentum. And it was Edmund who hung on in the end.

“The match in Brisbane was tight,” Edmund recalled. “Not too much in it. Today was sort of similar. I don’t know. Maybe just in the key moments I maybe stepped up well and was brave, really went for my shots, and they came good. I believed that I could pull off some good stuff.

“The last two sets were sort of more about that. I started well in the first set. That was more of my start, though, to the match that got me that set.

“In the second, to break him, then serve it out, to play a good game like that… Okay, I broke, got broken back, but I thought I played good tennis, took the ball on when I needed to, and it came good for me.

“To serve out the match was also really good for me under that sort of pressure, I guess.”

Dimitrov, who had beaten Edmund in the quarterfinals of Brisbane earlier in the month, credited his opponent for the win.

‘Kyle deserves all the respect,” Dimitrov said. “He deserved to win, simple as that. He’s been working so hard the past months. I’ve seen that. Played him a couple of times.

“I take full responsibility of my match today. There’s no point for me to say what I did wrong because I can sit here and talk about it, but it’s all about him right now. He’s the winner.”

After winning the ATP Finals title to end 2017, this year Dimitrov has lost to Nick Kyrgios in the Brisbane semifinals and now Edmund in the Australian Open quarters.

“It’s hard to hide a disappointment,” Dimitrov added. “I am disappointed. It’s how I feel. It hurts, and so it should.

“Right now I won’t think too rational, simple as that. I need to give myself a couple of days just to relax a little bit and kind of do things I don’t get a chance to do during the tournament, and kind of I think reassess the whole Australian trip. I think overall it wasn’t a bad one, but certainly wasn’t where I wanted to be.”

Cilic leads Edmund 1-0 beating him in Shanghai last fall.

“I’m going to prepare for that match like for any other one,” Cilic said of the semi. “Kyle had amazing run here. A lot of tough matches, played great tennis. He’s also very entertaining to watch. Big hitter, great serve, great forehand. Plays great on the hard courts.

“For me, another good opportunity. Obviously on the paper probably easier to play him than Rafa. But still he deserved a lot to be here at the spot where he is.”


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65 Comments for Injured Nadal Retires To Cilic At Australian Open; Edmund Stuns Dimitrov For First Slam SF

RZ Says:

Such a shame for Nadal to go out to injury again. Hopefully it is nothing major.

Yay for Edmund! Bright future ahead for him.


BBB Says:

Condolences to Nadal fans. This is a bummer.


lylenubbins Says:

Terrible about Rafa but injuries so with the territory for him, unfortunately. Might be time to forget about No. 1 ranking and focus on being healthy for the Slams.

Grigor, Zverev, Thiem, Kyrgios, all these guys demonstrating what is so special about the Big 4 – - ability to compete at the highest level week in, week out.


Bob Says:

Please stop with this second career Grand Slam nonsense.


Humble Rafa Says:

Condolences to Nadal fans. This is a bummer.

No need to feel sad. My fans should take it like I take it. It’s life. And the next grand slam is the FO.


Danica Says:

So sorry :(. I was rooting for Rafa to go all the way. I thought I would wake up to nice news so this was bit of a skock. I hope it’s nothing major, just a stretched muscle or such.

Real bummer indeed. I hate injuries.


Danica Says:

*shock


gonzalowski Says:

RZ terminate the bracket now please!


skeezer Says:

We’ll have to wait for what the extent of the injury is. Hopefully nothing serious. He wasn’t going to have an easy time beating Cilic anyway. In fact the way Cilic is playing I don’t know who is going to beat him right now.
In the bigger picture I agree with others he needs to reconsider his schedule. He played too much last year imo and it cost him…….again. I am not him, but why play even anymore HC this qtr? Just wait for the Clay swing where he can dominate anyway, if he will be healthy enough.


RZ Says:

Haha Gonzalowski. If it makes you feel better, I’ve been at the bottom before too.

You are in good company. I checked the statistics which shows the picks for the semis, final, and champion. There were 25 entries. For the semis, 17 had Nadal and 13 had Dmitrov. For the final, 12 had Nadal (and of those 12, 9 chose him to win) and 7 had Dmitrov (with one person choosing him to win). Link is https://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketAussieOpenATP/TennisXersAussieOpen2018/Pool/Statistics.aspx

Shockingly no one chose Edmund in the semis, though 6 did have Cilic and 1 person chose him for the final. No one chose Berdych for the semis either, so now I expect him to win tonight and really screw up everyone’s brackets.


frank p frankovich Says:

Feel bad for the raf. Hoping roger gets 20.


Madmax Says:

Frank, you should see the way that Chung is playing. Who IS this guy? From nowhere.

Giles at this point, if it were Roger, would say that he had tanked.

I don’t believe a word of it Giles. Not one word of it.

Rudezki says that Rafa has not let his body heal enough, so 3 months off? French open preparation? Hard court is just that. Hard and difficult to play on? Rafa says – preferred surface would be clay and this is where his focus must lie.

Always hoping for a nadal/federer match, this time not to be.

The MRI scan, will come up with nothing – I think that Rafa has seriously overdone his previous season, did not take enough recovery time, should have taken more.

Have every faith he will be back to pick up the next grand slam trophy. Tailoring his schedule to the clay court events would be wiser for him.


Humble Rafa Says:

He played too much last year imo and it cost him…….again. I am not him, but why play even anymore HC this qtr?

Since I AM HIM, I can say that being number one is important to me. I put a lot of thought into what I play and don’t play. I also respect grand slams, unlike other people.


skeezer Says:

“Since I AM HIM”
That’s the problem, isn’t it?
You’re NOT HIM.


Margot Says:

Mad Max: Chung didn’t come out of “nowhere.” I’ve been following him for about a year now, he had some excellent wins last year and won Next Gen. If anyone’s come out of nowhere it’s Kyle, but he too has been chalking up some good wins lately.
Ahem, ahem guys n gals, checked tennisx bracket lately?…;)


Tony N Says:

Humble Rafa Says: “I also respect grand slams, unlike other people.”
That’s why Nadal skipped 6 grand slams since 2005. All 6 were either hard court or grass court slams (Nadal is never so injured that he needs to skip the clay slam).
And that’s why Spanish media reported you played golf tournaments during the 2012 US Open and also during the 2013 Australian Open — both tennis majors that you skipped! Nadal even won the golf tournament during the 2013 A0 — this was his first title of 2013, lol. Since Nadal plays golf right-handed, his golf swings put stress on his supposedly injured left knee!
http://www.marca.com/2013/01/29/tenis/1359457281.html
http://actu-tennis.over-blog.fr/article-photos-rafael-nadal-au-tournoi-baleares-golf-109722473.html


Willow Says:

Well done Margot ;-)


Margot Says:

Thanks Willow. :)


Jay Goldman Says:

No rematch with Fed in the final…boo hoo hoo. Am I the only one crying about that here? Ok.. congrats to Cilic ( a super guy I admire him ) and others heading toward the final. But time says we may not get another chance to see tennis’s all-time best 2 players go at it again on the big Grand Slam stage battling for the title. Very upset about it. Life goes on…but just barely! Get well soon Rafa !! We love you.


RZ Says:

Margot is going for 3 in a row!
BTW, I just learned that Kyle Edmund is half Welsh, half South African.

And yes, I agree that Chung didn’t come out of nowhere. He was one of the more talked about Next Gen members.


Willow Says:

Im ready for the next gen now ;-)


Giles Says:

Shut up madmax. Still wearing your big red blouse? Pfffft


Danica Says:

I see Giles hasn’t changed his ways :)


Danica Says:

I noticed Kyle first last a year or two years ago (more like two yrs) when he played Nole in IW or Miami. One of those two. I believe Nole prevailed 6:3, 6:3 but I remember it was a really hard fought match where Nole didn’t have it easy at all. He told Kyle at the end just to keep doing what he was doing and he would be great player.

As for Chung, exactly, he was around and considered one of Next Gen stars. Win in Milan definitely made him more noticeable.

Snd pay attention to Khachanov. That forehand!!!


j-kath Says:

lylenubbins@ 10.20am.

“Grigor, Zverev, Thiem, Kyrgios, all these guys demonstrating what is so special about the Big 4 – – ability to compete at the highest level week in, week out.”

Well said….and our loss if it is over.


j-kath Says:

re. Kyle: He came to our notice (Brits) re, his contribution to Davis Cup – then he became less reliable. So his resurgence in this GS is remarkable and hope it is a sign of a notable future.
Cheers to Margot and Willow (who may agree) (or not)?


Chris Ford Says:

Bob Says:

Please stop with this second career Grand Slam nonsense.

==================
Why is Rafa going for something no one has ever done on the men’s side in the Open Era, “nonsense”??? It is a worthy goal to strive for.

And a shame Rafa had to retire like that. He was playing good, Maran was playing good, the outcome could go either way without his injury.

I sort of hope Fed loses as well, because the story of this AO is how the men’s side opened up like only the Women’s Slams have done now and then in the last 15 years


Okiegal Says:

In honor of an injured Andy……I’m going for Kyle……c’mon!!


J.S. Says:

HAHA OKIE – I am going for CHUNG!!!
Love it!


J.S. Says:

Let’s go UNDERDOGS!!!


BBB Says:

I’m certainly not rooting for the guy who thought Pizzagate was real.


J.S. Says:

What’s pizza gate? LOL Help me out here!! BBB


J.S. Says:

BBB
I don’t understand, sorry!


BBB Says:

It’s a phony theory that Hillary Clinton and her team had a pedophilia ring going. It led to a troubled man to take it seriously and shoot up a pizza place that was supposedly the pedophilia ring’s HQ.


Humble Rafa Says:

Somebody’s cats are going to have a bad early morning.


Humble Rafa Says:

Make America Great Again player is losing. What the hell is happening?


BBB Says:

No doubt his alt-right friends will discipline him if he loses to a non-white person.


Wog Boy Says:

Sandgren reminds me on Nalbandian, not game wise, just look alike.


Wog Boy Says:

Is it only me or Chung is little bit cocky, and got carried away with all the fuss about him.


J.S. Says:

WB – I don’t see that but will watch for it, I hope not! It might be his discipline that looks that way? They said he trains solo because he couldn’t afford lots of support!


Wog Boy Says:

Then it must only me.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ must be


Van Persie Says:

WB,

After he won the 2nd set, he did a bit of Novak :)…That was cute, actually :)


Van Persie Says:

^^ Saw it as a tribute for his idol, hehe


AndyMira Says:

Agree with WB!…Chung to me a little bit cocky!


J.S. Says:

I will wait until post game interview….What did I miss, what did he do that was cocky? just the attitude??

Chung will take this in 3 – What’s w/ the inappropriate social media stuff on Sandgren?


J.S. Says:

UPDATE on Rafa after MRI..
Nothing torn or serious!
He will be back in 3 weeks! That’s good news :)


Van Persie Says:

J.S.

The only thing I saw, after he won the 2nd, he raised his arms, like Djoko always does, after he wins a critical or a beautiful point.

WB,

Did you see more?


Van Persie Says:

Glad for Rafa, J.S. :)


AndyMira Says:

J.S!…Hehe..Chung did nothing major..just his hands gesture asking people to clap for him that not sit well with me..In my opinion,if we do or play amazing,we don’t need to ask people to clap or cheer for us,they will do it readily..but,that’s just my opinion..other than that..he’s very okay to me!


Wog Boy Says:

JS,
That’s not a good news, not at all, 36 years are alredy doing the maths when will he be #1, not if, so you spoiled their party with that news.


AndyMira Says:

Would love to see Chung test the mighty Roger after this!…It’s about time!!


AndyMira Says:

Happy news about Rafa!!….Yeehaa!!…Can’t wait to see u back on court!


Margot Says:

CHUNG!
BBB: oh the irony of Sandgrem losing to a South Korean. But apparently he’s deleted all his
ultra right tweets and has repented, so that’s all alright then.


J.S. Says:

BBB – I just figured out that you were talking about Sandgrem….LOL – Now I get it! Twitter is all over him! Serena spoke up too!
I didn’t understand how Pizzagate related to Chung/Sandgrem, sorry!


J.S. Says:

MIRA – Djokvic raised his arms gesturing to the crowd when he played Chung. Chung did it a few games later! Sounds like he did it again today (I missed that one). Think he is just emulating Djok??

Both of Chung’s interviews on court seemed genuine. If he isn’t we will know soon……


AndyMira Says:

J.S…Haha…yeah..raised an arms is one of Nole’s trademark..i don’t know whether Chung emulated Nole or not J.S..but i still mad at him for kicking Nole out of AO..even tho i admire his tennis a lot..hehe..does that makes sense??


J.S. Says:

Yep!! :)
I underestand but don’t think Djok would’ve gone far after his Monfils game (controversy). I’m not mad at Shung, it’s AO I am disgusted with.

Maybe Cilic and Chung will play finals – would that make you feel better?


j-kath Says:

Re. Chung – I want to give him lots of slack – it takes time to mature and now is the time for him to enjoy his success….without a doubt lessons are waiting for him in the future.


J.S. Says:

Federer is down 0-3 vs Berdych!


Van Persie Says:

J-Kath,

I agree with you most of the time, but I hope you were wrong yesterday regarding the results of one single match :)


J.S. Says:

J-Kath,
I agree – I’m sure Chung is enjoying these moments. Hope he gets a sponsor or two from his fabulous play!


AndyMira Says:

J.S…Cilic vs Chung in the final is okay too!…With Chung win of coz!!…But i want Kyle vs Chung in the final…whoever win..doesn’t matter!…Will be glad for them both!…


BBB Says:

lol Margot. Gotta love the Koreans – a Korean woman won the US Open at a Trump course in 2017, with Trump in attendance.

Not to mention Sandgren’s sponsor is Japanese, and his clothes most certainly weren’t made in the USA.

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