June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Rafael Nadal said he’s concerned that the defense of his Wimbledon tennis title will be halted again because of injury.
“I’m worried, for sure,” Nadal said in a news conference after his 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 fourth-round win over Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina yesterday. “I felt terrible. I thought I broke my foot. I seriously didn’t know if I will have the chance to continue to play.”
The 25-year-old Spaniard called a trainer and a doctor for treatment before the first-set tiebreak. Sky Sports News reported a scan today showed no serious damage and he’ll practice later for tomorrow’s quarterfinal against American Mardy Fish.
Nadal couldn’t defend his 2008 Wimbledon title because of tendinitis in his knee. He needs to retain the title at the All England Club to stay No. 1 in the world rankings.
U.S. Open champion Nadal started the season with a shot at becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time. Instead, he limped out of the Australian Open with a ruptured thigh muscle after a quarterfinal loss to Spain’s David Ferrer.
Also yesterday, there was a shakeup in the women’s draw, with defending champion Serena Williams, her sister, Venus -- a five-time winner -- and top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark losing in the fourth round. The American sisters were returning from injury, while Wozniacki was seeking her first major title.
As a result, the women’s champion won’t be a Williams sister for the first time since 2006, when France’s Amelie Mauresmo won. The Americans have won nine of the past 11 singles titles on the grass courts of the All England Club.
Today, Sabine Lisicki of Germany meets Marion Bartoli of France and Dominika Cibulkova takes on Maria Sharapova of Russia in the women’s quarterfinals on Centre Court.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic faces Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria and Tamira Paszek of Austria plays Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Court No. 1.
Nadal, who said he’d already taken pain killers for other leg and groin injuries, will have a day to recover from his win over del Potro, which took almost four hours.
Fish yesterday beat last year’s runner-up Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. In the previous round, the 10th-seeded American advanced when Dutchman Robin Haase retired with a knee injury.
Six-time champion Roger Federer also advanced to the quarterfinals yesterday. He’ll take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, while No. 4 seed Andy Murray meets Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.
No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia will play Australia’s Bernard Tomic, the youngest player left in the singles draws at age 18. Tomic, a qualifier who ousted No. 5 seed Robin Soderling of Sweden in the third round, is the youngest man to reach the quarterfinals since Boris Becker in 1986.
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