WATCH: Rafael Nadal bids goodbye to Wimbledon staff after his withdrawal 

Rafael Nadal bids goodbye to Wimbledon staff
Rafael Nadal bids goodbye to Wimbledon staff

Rafael Nadal was seen bidding goodbye to Wimbledon staff members on Thursday night shortly after confirming his withdrawal from the grasscourt Major due to an abdominal muscle tear. In the last-four clash, the Spaniard was due to meet Nick Kyrgios, who got a walkover into the final.

The announcement cut short the reigning Australian Open and French Open champion's bid for a Calendar Slam.

A video of Nadal's departure from SW19 surfaced earlier on Friday on Twitter. In it, the 22-time Grand Slam champion can be seen carrying his playing kit on his back as he prepared to leave the hallowed grounds with his team.

He hugged one of the staff members before stopping to bid farewell and say thank you to a couple of other staff members and pose for a photo. After another series of endearing embraces and handshakes, the highly popular Nadal posed for more photos as people couldn't get enough of him.

The affable Spaniard ended his goodbyes with a message of hope:

"Thank you so much. Hope to see you next year."

You can watch the full video here:

With victories over Francisco Cerundolo, Ricardas Berankis, Lorenzo Sonego, Botic van de Zandschulp, and Taylor Fritz, the Spaniard made it to his eighth semifinal at Wimbledon. However, he was clearly in pain when he defeated 11th-seeded American Taylor Fritz in a bruising five-set quarterfinal match on Wednesday.

Shortly afterwards, Rafael Nadal told the media during a press conference on Thursday that he was pulling out of Wimbledon due to a 7mm abdominal muscle tear.

"I can't win two matches under these circumstances" - Rafael Nadal

Nadal during a press conference on Day 11 of The Championships - Wimbledon 2022
Nadal during a press conference on Day 11 of The Championships - Wimbledon 2022

The 22-time Major champion claimed in his press conference that although he had been feeling pain in the abdominal area since the previous week, it had gotten worse during Wednesday's quarterfinal match against Fritz, particularly while serving.

"Unfortunately, as you can imagine if I am here, I have to pull out from the tournament," Nadal said. "As everybody saw yesterday, I have been suffering with the pain in abdominal. I know something was not OK there, as I said yesterday."
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Even though Rafael Nadal practiced for around 45 minutes on Thursday in an effort to get ready for the semifinal match, he soon realized that the ailment would prevent him from performing at his peak.

"I made my decision because I believe that I can't win two matches under these circumstances," Nadal said. "I can't serve. It's not only that I can't serve at the right speed, it's that I can't do the normal movement to serve.
"I have to say that, imagine myself winning two matches, and for respect to myself in some way, I don't want to go out there, not be competitive enough to play at the level that I need to play to achieve my goal, and with a big chance to make the things much worse, no?'" he added.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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