Rafael Nadal outlasts Taylor Fritz, into Wimbledon semifinal against Nick Kyrgios

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal overcame American Taylor Fritz in five sets and his latest physical ailment, an abdominal injury, to reach a Wimbledon semifinal against Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal outlasted Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) to move two match wins away from a third major title this year and a record-extending 23rd men’s Grand Slam singles title.

He took a medical timeout in the second set to receive treatment off court on his abs. His serve speed dropped. At one point during play, Nadal’s father was motioning from his player box for him to quit.

“A lot of moments I was thinking maybe I will not be able to finish the match,” he said. “I had these feelings [abdominal pain] for a couple of days. Without a doubt, today was the worst day. Have been an important increase of pain and limitation.”

Nadal said he will get medical tests on Thursday. He said he could not give a clear answer when asked his chances of playing Friday’s semifinal.

“Something more important than win Wimbledon, that is the health,” he said.


Fritz, the 11th seed in his first major quarterfinal, nearly became the first American to beat Nadal in 27 tries dating to the 2005 U.S. Open (James Blake). Instead, the U.S. men’s major drought extends, dating to Andy Roddick‘s 2003 U.S. Open title.

“Probably hurts more than any loss I’ve ever had,” said Fritz, who beat Nadal in the Indian Wells final in March, when both were not fully healthy. “Certain parts of the match I felt like maybe I kind of just needed to come up with more, do more. I left a lot up to him, and he delivered.”

Nadal next gets a familiar Wimbledon foe — the Aussie Kyrgios, who swept Chilean Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) to make his first major semifinal.

Kyrgios’ first breakthrough win came against Nadal in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2014. They met again at Wimbledon in 2019, with Nadal prevailing in four sets.

“First thing,” Nadal said. “I hope to be ready to play. Going to be a big challenge.”

Earlier, Simona Halep swept American Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semifinals with her 12th consecutive match victory at Wimbledon including her 2019 title run.

She nearly squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set, rallying from a love-40 deficit on her serve in the last game.

The 16th seed Halep, who has dropped just one set during her Wimbledon win streak, faces No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina on Thursday for a place in Saturday’s final. The Moscow-born Kazakh Rybakina beat 44th-ranked Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to make her first major semi.

No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia plays 103rd-ranked German Tatjana Maria in the other semi.

Halep, a 30-year-old Romanian, is a two-time major champion. The more recent crown came at 2019 Wimbledon, where she had the match of her life to rout Serena Williams in the final.

Wimbledon was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Halep missed 2021 Wimbledon due to a torn left calf.

After a fourth-round loss at September’s U.S. Open, Halep announced she and Australian coach Darren Cahill split. Cahill has since worked with Anisimova.

Halep turned to Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams’ former coach, whom she has been working with for at least three months.

She can join the Williams sisters as the lone women to win Wimbledon in back-to-back appearances in the last 25 years.

“I struggled a lot last year, and now I’m just trying to get my confidence back,” she said.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time


Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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