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Wimbledon PIX: Nadal sets up Kyrgios semis; Halep to face Rybakina in last four

Last updated on: July 07, 2022 00:51 IST
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IMAGES from Day 10 of the Wimbledon 2022 Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, on Wednesday.

Ailing Nadal finds will to down Fritz in five-set thriller

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates on winning the quarter-final against USA's Taylor Fritz.

IMAGE: Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates on winning the quarter-final against USA's Taylor Fritz. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A hurting Rafael Nadal exhibited heroic mental strength to edge American 11th seed Taylor Fritz in a final set tiebreaker during a captivating Wimbledon quarter-final contest on Wednesday to keep alive his quest for a calendar year Grand Slam.

 

Struggling with an abdominal injury, Nadal appeared close to retiring mid-match on Centre Court but found the will to beat the 24-year-old Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) in four hours and 20 minutes to set up a semi-final showdown against Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios.

The 36-year-old Rafael Nadal, who won the Australian and French Open titles back-to-back this year for the first time in his career, left the court for a medical time-out for an abdominal issue with his father fervently urging him from the player's box to put an end to his misery. 

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal left the court for a medical time-out for an abdominal issue with his father fervently urging him from the player's box to put an end to his misery. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Fritz, who beat Nadal in the final at Indian Wells to put an end to the Spaniard's 20-match winning run at the start of the 2022 season, overturned an early deficit to race through the opening set, winning five straight games from 1-3, 0-30 down.

The 36-year-old Nadal, who won the Australian and French Open titles back-to-back this year for the first time in his career, left the court for a medical time-out for an abdominal issue with his father fervently urging him from the player's box to put an end to his misery.

USA's Taylor Fritz reacts after making an error 

IMAGE: USA's Taylor Fritz reacts after making an error. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

But the two-time former Wimbledon champion paid no heed to the requests and returned to the packed showcourt amid huge applause and then broke Fritz in the 12th game to level the match at one set apiece.

Still struggling while serving, Nadal was broken two times as the American bagged the third set comfortably.

Not ready to throw in the towel yet, Nadal traded two breaks before claiming the American's serve a third time to force a deciding fifth set.

Rafael Nadal also had frustrating moments during the match 

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal also had frustrating moments during the match. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With the crowd firmly behind him, Nadal converted his fourth breakpoint in the seventh game to take the lead and stared back at his player's box. But Fritz once again broke back to force a fitting 10-point deciding tiebreaker.

The 22-time major winner surged 5-0 ahead in the tiebreaker, then won a 25-shot rally amid raucous applause and converted his second matchpoint with a stinging forehand winner to secure a memorable victory.

Subdued Kyrgios overpowers Garin to make Wimbledon semis

Australia's Nick Kyrgios celebrates winning match point against Chile's Cristian Garin. 

IMAGE: Australia's Nick Kyrgios celebrates winning match point against Chile's Cristian Garin. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios reached the first Grand Slam semi-final of his chequered career with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over Chile's Cristian Garin at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

 

The unseeded 27-year-old lost the opening nine points on Court One but ultimately had too much firepower for Garin who had hoped to become Chile's first Wimbledon semi-finalist.

In surpassing his previous best Wimbledon run to the quarter-finals eight years ago, Kyrgios becomes the first Australian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for 17 years.

On the eve of the match, Kyrgios was summoned to appear in a Canberra court next month on an alleged assault charge, hardly ideal preparation for one of his biggest matches.

But any off-court distractions he managed to put to one side in a relatively low-volume display sprinkled occasionally with the instinctive shot-making that makes him such a draw.

As in his five-set win over American Brandon Nakashima in the previous round, Kyrgios kept his volatile temperament under wraps, although he regularly lambasted his sizeable entourage as the match dragged on.

Nick Kyrgios runs to return a forehand against Cristian Garin 

IMAGE: Nick Kyrgios runs to return a forehand against Cristian Garin. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Once again, his serve underpinned his game, digging him out of trouble whenever Garin threatened to drag himself back into a contest that drifted away from him after his fast start.

Garin, who beat Kyrgios's compatriot Alex De Minaur from two sets down in the previous round, battled hard to extend the third set into a tiebreaker and led 5-3 in it before Kyrgios hit back to win the last four points.

One of tennis's great enigmas will now face Rafael Nadal or Taylor Fritz in the semis.

"An amazing atmosphere again," Kyrgios said.

"I never thought I'd be in the semi-final of a Grand Slam. I thought that ship had sailed -- that I may have wasted that window in my career.

"I'm really happy I was able to come out here with my team and put on a performance."

Halep demolishes Anisimova to reach Wimbledon semi-finals

Romania's Simona Halep celebrates winning her quarter-final match against USA's Amanda Anisimova

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep celebrates winning her quarter-final match against USA's Amanda Anisimova. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

There has been no stopping Simona Halep at this year's Wimbledon as the Romanian produced another eye-catching performance to surge into the semi-finals with a 6-2 6-4 win over American Amanda Anisimova on Wednesday.

The 2019 champion did not exactly give the fans who had forked out 175 pounds ($208) for a Centre Court ticket value for money as she toppled a shellshocked Anisimova in 63 minutes to reach her third semi-final at the All England Club.

Amanda Anisimova in action against Simona Halep  

IMAGE: Amanda Anisimova in action against Simona Halep. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

After Halep had wrapped up the first set when Anisimova banged a service return long, the American was left rejecting one racket after another into her red bag as she was broken for the fourth time to trail 4-1 in the second set.

The 30-year-old Halep was broken while serving for the match at 5-1 and Anisimova had her 0-40 down when she tried again at 5-3.

Simona Halep was broken while serving for the match 5-1 

IMAGE: Simona Halep was broken while serving for the match 5-1. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

But a few hard-hitting slaps to her thigh at 15-40 down got Halep's legs moving again and the 16th seed secured victory when Anisimova swiped a backhand long.

She will next meet Kazakh 17th seed Elena Rybakina.

Rybakina finds her range to set up Halep semi-final

Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina in action during her quarter-final against Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic

IMAGE: Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina in action during her quarter-final against Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Elena Rybakina recovered from a shaky start to overwhelm Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday and set up a Wimbledon semi-final with Simona Halep, becoming the first Kazakhstan player to reach the last four of a Grand Slam.

The first set was close but swung on the third game when, after five deuces Tomljanovic broke before serving strongly to take it 6-4.

Rybakina, 23, broke early in the second and though Tomljanovic’s athletic court coverage enabled her to hit straight back, the tall Kazak then took total command, breaking to love to win the second on the back of 11 straight points.

Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic plays a return against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina          

IMAGE: Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic plays a return against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Rybakina, who took her tournament ace tally into the 40s with another 15, cranked up the pressure in the decider, taking a 3-0 lead after winning seven games in a row, and breaking again for 5-1.

Although her progress was briefly held up, she served out brilliantly and fittingly finished the match with an ace.

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