Nick Kyrgios has paid his respects to Rafa Nadal after reaching his first Wimbledon final due to the Spaniard's devastating decision to withdraw.
Nadal stunned the tennis world when he held a press conference on Thursday to announce his withdrawal from Wimbledon ahead of his semi-final clash with Kyrgios.
The Spaniard said scans showed he suffered a tear in his abdomen during his quarter-final classic against Taylor Fritz.
And the 22-time grand slam champion said he wouldn't be able to properly compete against Kyrgios due to the development.
“As you can imagine, I am here because I have to pull out from the tournament," Nadal said in a press conference he hastily called.
"As everybody saw yesterday, I have been suffering with pain in my abdomen.
"It wasn’t okay then, and now it’s confirmed. I have a tear in the abdominal muscle. The communication is too late. I was thinking the whole day about the decision to make, but I think it doesn’t make sense [to continue]. Very tough circumstances; it’s obvious that if I keep going, the injury will worsen.
"I’m very sad to say that."
Not long after the announcement, Kyrgios showed his respect for the 22-time grand slam champion with a message of well wishes.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2022
"Different players, different personalities," he wrote.
"Rafael Nadal, I hope your recovery goes well and we all hope to see you healthy soon. Till next time."
The Instagram caption was accompanied with a photo of the pair shaking hands from a previous match.
Nick Kyrgios makes Aussie history with Wimbledon final
Nadal's withdrawal leaves Kyrgios a win away from capturing an elusive first grand slam title in what will be the 27-year-old's maiden major final.
Tennis's most exciting and unfulfilled talent will face either three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic or British ninth seed Cameron Norrie in Sunday's title match.
They clash on Friday in what would have been the curtain-raiser for the Kyrgios-Nadal match that the Australian had predicted would be the "most watched match ever".
Mark Philippoussis was the last Australian to make the men's Wimbledon final, losing to Roger Federer in 2003 in what was the Swiss maestro's first of 20 grand slam successes.
However, Kyrgios will be up against it in the final regardless of the opponent he faces.
Norrie will have home support on Centre Court, while 20-time grand slam champion Djokovic will be eager to cut the gap between himself and Nadal on the grand slam leaderboard tally.
The last male Australian to win Wimbledon single's crown was Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.
Aussie Ash Barty won the ladies' Wimbledon title in 2021.
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