MELBOURNE, Australia (CBSNewYork) — Top-seeded Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open came to a sudden end Tuesday as the Spaniard retired in the fifth set of his quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic due to an injury.
Nadal got off to a strong start, winning the first set 6-3 before falling 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 over the next three. Nadal was trailing 2-0 when he walked away, angrily throwing his headband into his equipment bag after shaking hands with the umpire and his opponent.
It is only the second time Nadal has retired from a Grand Slam match, the last also coming in an Australian Open quarterfinal — against Andy Murray in 2010.
The 16-time major winner couldn’t say exactly what his injury was. It appeared he sustained it in the fourth set.
“High on the leg,” Nadal said. “Tomorrow we going to communicate what’s going on after the MRI. You know, it is not the moment to say what’s going on or what not going on because we really don’t know. It’s better to wait just a few hours. Give me that time, and tomorrow afternoon we’ll let you know.”
Cilic, the sixth seed, will face No. 2 Kyle Edmund in the semifinals.
“It was an unbelievable performance from both of us and it’s really unfortunate for Rafa,” Cilic said. “He always gives his best, and it’s unfortunate for him to end this way.