Rafa Nadal would be devastated, having to retire from his fiercely competitive quarter-final against Cilic due to a hip injury that got pretty aggravated in the 5th set. Cilic won 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 2-0.
Nadal had asked for a medical time out earlier in the match, but his movement was clearly hampered, as he laboured on in the latter parts of the 4th set and in the opening part of the decider.
But once Cilic broke him in the 5th, Nadal had had enough, walking ever so slowly to the net to finally retire from what was a very entertaining quarter final.
Cilic was over the moon after win(being sympathetic towards Nadal as well), having gotten his first win over Nadal since 2009 and progressing to the semi-final of Australian Open for the first time since 2010.
“It was an unbelievable performance from both of us. It’s really unfortunate for Rafa. He’s an unbelievable competitor, always gives his best.” Cilic said.
“When you’re wounded, sometimes the balls are going in, so I was really paying attention to the first couple of games. It was absolutely important for me to continue with my intensity.” he added.
Cilic would be playing Edmund in the semi final, a humongous occasion for the young Brit.
“A few five setters, tough battles, and then a great match today. Big congratulations to him for making the semi-finals. Kyle is also a big hitter, big serve, big forehand, so I have to take care of my side of the court.” Cilic said.
This is how Twitter reacted:
— Miki (@MikiCee83) January 23, 2018
I’m sorry Noah but this is a silly comment. #Nadal doesn’t “play the injury card”. In the 2014 final he completed the match despite a serious back injury. He hates to retire and was visibly angry having to do so tonight. #AusOpen https://t.co/37YIBrAzIz
— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 23, 2018
— Jen 💜 ⚒ (@Lovell23Lovell) January 23, 2018
Cilic hit 83 winners to 39. He didn’t win simply because Rafa was injured, he played a great match with the injury hampering Rafa at the end. Cilic was drilling it by that stage. #Rafa #Nadal #AusOpen
— Nate Beee (@En_Beee) January 23, 2018
— Liam (@liam_filer) January 23, 2018
— Rishu Singh (@rishusingh373) January 23, 2018
So since @rogerfederer left the court after his last match this has happened; Djokovic, Dimitrov, and Nadal have lost. Has anyone ever been a bigger favorite to win the 🏆with three matches left? @AustralianOpen
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) January 23, 2018
— AmericanCitizen (@PJB956) January 23, 2018
Oh Rafa.. I’m so heartbroken.. Can’t imagine what you are going through right now. Sending hugs and warm thoughts to you. Get well soon Champ! Always with you. #rafa #nadal #vamos #AustralianOpen2018 https://t.co/rGyu9PkQu7
— Stella Rajagukguk (@stella_dion) January 23, 2018
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2018
Rafael Nadal retires for only the second time in 264 grand slam matches. Only previous retirement was vs Andy Murray in quarter-finals of 2010 Australian Open #AusOpen
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) January 23, 2018
If you think Nadal isn’t injured and/or that he is engaging in political theater as though he is trying to create an excuse for losing, I can’t help you.
You’re being willfully ignorant and wrong. Period.
— Matt Zemek (@mzemek) January 23, 2018