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Hewitt benefits from Nadal injury at Queen’s

June 16, 2006

By Bill Barclay

LONDON (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon preparations
suffered a blow on Friday when he had to retire from his Stella
Artois quarter-final against Australian Lleyton Hewitt with a
shoulder injury.

The double French Open champion had taken the first set
impressively 6-3 but needed treatment to his left shoulder in
the second which he lost 6-3.

Nadal, the tournament’s top seed, decided to quit before
the start of the third set and will now face a race to be fit
for the grasscourt grand slam which begins on June 26.

“I felt a lot of pain here,” Nadal told reporters
afterwards, indicating the point of his left shoulder. “It
would have been stupid to continue.”

Asked if he thought he would be fit for Wimbledon, the
world number two replied: “I don’t know, I hope so.”

The 20-year-old Mallorcan, who beat Roger Federer to win
his second French Open in a row on Sunday, said he planned to
fly home later on Friday to consult his doctor.

Nadal’s defeat ended his run of 26 consecutive wins since
his defeat by Carlos Moya at the Miami Masters in March.

U.S. defending champion Andy Roddick was a confident 6-4
6-3 winner over Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, setting up an
all-American semi-final against James Blake.

Roddick has won the event for the last three years and the
twice Wimbledon runner-up really hit his stride against
Gonzalez.

“I don’t remember missing a forehand,” he said. “Coming to
my favorite surface and one of my favorite tournaments, the
recipe was there for something good to happen.

“I feel good about the week and I definitely want to keep
it going.”

MONFILS INJURY

Like Nadal, French teenager Gael Monfils quit his
quarter-final against Blake due to injury.

The 19-year-old had lost the first set 6-1 to Blake when he
retired with a back injury. He later pulled out of next week’s
Nottingham grasscourt event.

Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion, faces Briton Tim
Henman in the semi-finals after the Briton broke his jinx
against Dmitry Tursunov by beating the Russian 6-3 7-6.

Australian Hewitt, three times a former champion at Queen’s
Club, beat Henman in the 2001 and 2002 finals.

Henman was knocked out of Wimbledon by Tursunov last year
and also lost to him at this year’s Australian Open and French
Open.

In the second set, four-times Wimbledon semi-finalist
Henman was a set point down but Tursunov double-faulted and the
Briton rattled through the tiebreak 7-1, sealing victory with a
big forehand.

“He’s an awkward guy to play against, so it’s good to get
through and continue my form,” said the 31-year-old Henman.

“I feel good about my game. After struggling on grass the
last two years I do feel much more comfortable.”


Source: reuters



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