World #1 Rafael Nadal has heavily criticised the intense schedule of touring players, after the Spaniard retired injured from his Australian Open quarter-final clash with Marin Cilic.
Speaking after the match, which the 2017 finalist conceded 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 0-2, Nadal said “somebody who is running the tour should think a little bit about what’s going on” because “too many people are getting injured.”
Nadal, who experienced significant muscle pain high in his right leg during the match, said the workload of the modern player ought to be questioned.
“I don’t know if they have to think a little bit about the health of the players. Not for now that we are playing, but there is life after tennis,” Nadal said.
“I don’t know if we keep playing on these very, very hard surfaces what’s going to happen in the future with our lives.”
Unfortunate scenes here with the world No.1 Rafael #Nadal retiring hurt in the QF 😥@Cilic_Marin progresses through to the SF. #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/IEjPruzvdi
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2018
The ATP notes that Nadal has only dropped out of two Grand Slam matches in his career due to injury. The first was also at the Australian Open, against Andy Murray in 2010.
“In this tournament [it] already happened a couple of times in my life, so it’s really, I don’t want to say frustration, but [it] is really tough to accept,” Nadal said.
“Especially after a tough December that I had without having a chance to start in Abu Dhabi and then Brisbane.”
Cilic, who took his best game to Nadal before the injury, will face British up-and-comer Kyle Edmund in the semi-final.