Croatia’s Marin Cilic advanced to the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday after world no. 1 Rafael Nadal retired hurt when trailing 3-6 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2 2-0 in their quarter-final match on Rod Laver Arena.
Nadal took a medical time-out late in the fourth set for treatment on an apparent hip injury and was clearly struggling as he battled through the match.
After being broken to fall behind 2-0 in the final set, Nadal called it quits, and shook hands ruefully with the umpire and Cilic.
Speaking after his exit, Nadal said, “Tough to accept, I thought to be ready, I was playing quite well. Have to accept it, go home, heal, stay with my people. So many great things happened in my career, this is a negative one.”
This marks the second time in 264 Grand Slam matches that Nadal will retire from a match.
Sixth seed Cilic will meet South African-born Kyle Edmund for a place in the final.
The unseeded Edmund had earlier beaten third seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the semis.