Nick Kyrgios recalls agent pulling him out of a pub at 4am ...
Wimbledon

With Rafael Nadal having to pull out of the Wimbledon semi-final due to injury, tennis fans are divided over Nick Kyrgios’ walkover into the final.

In a press conference yesterday evening (7 July), Nadal announced he would not be able to compete in his scheduled semi-final against the Australian due to an abdominal muscle injury.

His withdrawal from the grand slam championship means Kyrgious gets a walkover into the final where he will either face Briton Cameron Norrie or Serbian Novak Djokovic.

But, some have claimed Kyrgios shouldn’t be entitled to an automatic pass into the final and should instead play the American Taylor Fritz, who Nadal beat in the quarter-final.

The “lucky loser” rule is in place in some grand slams during qualifying or the opening round and allows players who lost to return to the competition if another athlete pulls out due to injury.

Some have called for the rule to be implemented deeper into the tournament, arguing that in this case, Fritz should be allowed to play.

New York Times tennis correspondent, Christopher Clarey, said: “It happens so rarely, but I still think it's worth exploring. When a player withdraws this late in a Grand Slam or before a major tour final, the beaten player should be able to take the slot. In this case Fritz would play Kyrgios as a ‘lucky loser’.

“The show must go on.”

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Former professional tennis player Pam Shriver also said: “I feel for Taylor Fritz. Should tennis re-examine the lucky loser rule’s scope?”

But, on the other hand, someone else argued: "Fritz deserves a chance in the semi!!’ losing your quarter final to someone very injured is about as by definition *not* deserving a semi final chance as you can get.”

Fritz himself has even weighed in on the debate, responding to someone on Instagram who suggested Nadal should have retired to let him through, saying that he isn’t “looking for handouts”.

Fritz wrote: “Nah not looking for handouts, if I couldn’t beat him then I don’t deserve to be in semis… simple as that.”

The final of the men’s singles competition between Kyrgios and the winner of today’s semi-final will take place on Wimbledon’s Centre Court at 2 pm on Sunday 10 July.

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