x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

MRI reveals nothing, Nadal to continue Wimbledon march

The defending champion says he is not seriously injured and will play Wednesday in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Rafael Nadal battled through the pain barrier to beat Juan Martin Del Potro yesterday at Wimbledon. He is scheduled to play his quarter-final match against Mardy Fish tomorrow.
Rafael Nadal battled through the pain barrier to beat Juan Martin Del Potro yesterday at Wimbledon. He is scheduled to play his quarter-final match against Mardy Fish tomorrow.

Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, is not seriously injured and will play Wednesday in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Nadal, a two-time champion at the All England Club, hurt his left foot yesterday in the first set a hard-fought win over Juan Martin Del Potro. He twice called for a trainer during the set, but still managed to win 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

After the match, he went to a London hospital for an MRI exam, but the results were negative.

"During the match I thought I had something serious but as the match went through the pain got better and thankfully the tests don't show an injury," Nadal said in a statement today. "Today I will practice at 4:30 p.m. and I'll play tomorrow."

In Wednesday's quarter-finals, Nadal is to face Mardy Fish of the United States.

Nadal said he felt something "crush" in his left foot during the match against Del Potro, making him worry that it might be broken. He said he even contemplated retiring from the match.

"I felt (like) I broke my foot at that moment," Nadal said Monday.

Nadal is 30-2 at Wimbledon since the start of the 2006 tournament. He lost to Roger Federer that year and the next in the final, but then beat the Swiss in the 2008 championship match. Nadal was unable to defend his title in 2009 because of injury, but he won again in 2010.

The top-ranked Spaniard also won his sixth French Open title this month, equaling Bjorn Borg's record. Overall, Nadal has won 10 major titles, including one at the Australian Open and one at the US Open.

The No 1 seed was joined in the last eight by Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer, who all won yesterday.

Like Nadal, Federer had to work hard to clinch victory, dropping his first set of the tournament before running out an eventual 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 against Mikhail Youzhny.

A mouthwatering clash with big-hitter Jo Wilfried-Tsonga now awaits the Swiss.

"I think he's got the weapons to be a huge threat on grass, make a run here. It's a tough draw, but I'm ready for it," Federer said of the Frenchman.

"I think he's a great player. He's proven it on numerous occasions. It's going to be good tennis."

Murray breezed past Richard Gasquet in straight sets while Djokovic wasted little time in hammering Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Djokovic will play teenage practice partner Bernard Tomic, 18, after he beat Xavier Malisse.

Tsonga beat David Ferrer in straight sets but Feliciano Lopez found his fourth-round clash with Lukasz Kubot much tougher.

Lopez saved two match points before going on to beat the Polish qualifier 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-5. He will now face Murray in the last eight.

Fish completes the quarter-final line-up having eliminated last year's finalist Tomas Berdych 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.