World No 1 and 16-time major winner Rafael Nadal retired with a leg injury against Marin Cilic during his quarterfinal match at the Australian Open 2018 on Tuesday, thus ending his campaign this year. However, Nadal defended five break points in the last game before Cilic broke his serve. Last year’s runner-up then went to the umpire and his opponent to shake hands with them before he threw his headband in his kit bag in anger.
The Spaniard retired after an upper right leg problem started troubling him during the fourth set of the match held at Rod Laver Arena. The pain left the World No. 1 gasping and limping giving clear signs that he was struggling to continue. The incident also makes it the second time that Nadal has retired from the Australian open tournament. He had withdrawn back in 2010 due to a knee injury after winning against the then implausible Andy Murray.
About the match, both the players’ traded aggressive ground-strokes in a powerful battle and little separated Nadal and World No. 6 Cilic. Nadal then called the physio during the fourth set and again during the change-over. His actions during the game were clear indication that the Spaniard is in pain. "It was an unbelievable performance from both us. It is really unfortunate for Rafa to finish this way," said Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion.
The king of clay’s departure comes after Novak Djokovic exit with his current playing status uncertain. He suffered an elbow injury during and ended this year’s campaign on Monday. Kyle Edmund who is having a gala season seemed to have no trouble defeating World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov as he moves past to the semi-finals. This also made him the fourth British man to reach the Australian Open semi-finals since the 1968 Open Era.
"It's an amazing feeling. I'm very happy," 23-year-old Edmund said. It was a hard match and I'm really trying to enjoy the moment. It was my first match on Rod Laver Arena and it's very special," said Edmund who is currently ranked 49th
in the ATP World Rankings.