Nadal advances after Carreno Busta retires

Rafael Nadal

Nine-time champion Rafa Nadal reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros on Wednesday when fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta was forced to retire.

Nadal was leading was leading 6-2, 2-0 after 52 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier when Carreno Busta quit due to an abdominal injury, for which he took a medical timeout at the end of the first set.

The match had been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday due to rain disruptions. Nadal's next opponent will be Austrian Dominic Thiem, who hammered defending champion Novak Djokovic in the other quarter-final.

From the start of the match, the 31-year-old Nadal dominated in windy conditions, breaking his opponent's serve four times to claim the set 6-2 despite dropping his own serve twice.

Carreno Busta was clearly struggling by this point, and called out his trainer to receive some treatment.

The Spaniard returned and continued playing, but another break soon followed for Nadal, and it wasn’t long before Carreno Busta decided to call it quits. 

For Nadal, his form has been sublime on the clay courts in Paris so far, having only dropped 22 games on his march to the semi-finals.

After the match, Carreno Busta told reporters that he first felt his abdominal injury when serving at 2-5 down in the first set.

“I felt the injury when I served at 2-5,” said Carreno Busta. “I tried to continue, but I preferred to stop because I felt the pain all the time… During this tournament, maybe when I finished my first-round match, I felt a little bit tight.

“But after that, I didn’t feel it again. I don’t know why it happened, but sometimes when you are trying 100 percent, you can do this.”

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