Melbourne: Rafael Nadal called on tour organisers to do more to halt injuries to top players after heartache at the Australian Open as he pulled out of his semi-final on Tuesday.
The Spanish World No 1 retired with a muscle injury in his upper right leg while trailing 0-2 to former US Open champion Marin Cilic in the fifth set of a titanic quarter-final struggle on Rod Laver Arena
It is the second time he has been forced to pull out with an injury in Melbourne after calling it quits in the third set of his 2010 quarter-final against Andy Murray with a knee problem.
The look on Nadal’s face said it all as he came to terms with missing a big opportunity to go after his 17th Grand Slam title after looking impressive in his early round matches.
“Tough moments. It is not the first time an opportunity that is gone for me,” he told reporters.
“This has already happened to me a couple of times in this tournament and it’s really tough to accept, especially after a tough December when I missed starting the season in Abu Dhabi and then Brisbane.”