EFELondon

Rafael Nadal battled through an abdominal injury that nearly forced him to retire from his Wimbledon quarterfinal match on Wednesday, overcoming the pain to edge American Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) and book a spot in the final four at the All England Club for the eighth time in his illustrious career.

The Spanish great's father and sister, seeing that Nadal was experiencing discomfort and unable to serve normally, both urged him to stop at one juncture.

But the winner of a record 22 Grand Slam singles titles soldiered on when almost no one else would have, rallying from a set down on two occasions and shaking off a blown lead in the fifth set to finally pull away in the deciding super-tiebreaker.

Wednesday's match marked the second time this year that Nadal took the court against Fritz despite physical problems.

The fourth-ranked Spaniard was hindered by a fractured rib against the American in the Indian Wells final in March, after which Nadal was away from the ATP Tour for more than six weeks.

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