Marin Cilic offered sympathy to Rafael Nadal after the world number one was forced to retire from their absorbing quarter-final at the Australian Open.
Nadal's hopes of reaching the last four were dashed by an apparent injury to his upper right leg, which prompted the Spaniard to call for a medical timeout in the fourth set.
Sixth seed Cilic duly levelled the match and a limping Nadal, whose movement was significantly compromised, decided he could not continue after falling 2-0 down in the decider.
While there was much to admire in Cilic's performance on Rod Laver Arena, most notably a barrage of stinging forehands, the Croatian acknowledged his opponent's rotten luck.
"[It was an] unbelievable performance from both of us and really unfortunate for Rafa," said Cilic in an on-court interview.
"He's an unbelievable competitor, always gives his best and it's very unfortunate for him to finish this way."
"Really unfortunate for Rafa. He is an unbelievable competitor. Always gives his best and it's very unfortunate for him to finish this way. "— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2018
- @Cilic_Marin will play @Kyle8Edmund in the SF. Kudos to the on a superb performance nonetheless. #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/rMFIW9Wl4a
Cilic remained wary of a fightback even when Nadal was limping heavily at the start of the fifth set.
"When you're wounded, sometimes you are a little bit looser, so I was really paying attention to these first couple of games [in set five], just trying to keep my intensity up," he explained.
"It was absolutely important for me to keep that intensity up and continue with my own game, not looking across the net.
"As the match went further on, I was hitting more winners, playing better and better."
Surprise package Kyle Edmund now stands between Cilic and a third grand slam final appearance.
"He's had an amazing run in this tournament. Definitely big congratulations to him," said the 2014 US Open champion.
"For me, I have to keep going with my own game. Kyle is also a big hitter, great serve, great forehand, so I have to take things in my own hands and try to deal with my own [side of the] court in the best way possible."
22 de octubre 2018
|Osaka looking to learn from losing start in Singapore|
|Kovac expects tough test against AEK Athens|
|Whyte gives Chisora deadline over rematch|
|Spartak Moscow sack Massimo Carrera|
|Atletico Madrid confirm fresh injury issue for Gimenez|
|Dolberg extends Ajax contract after Real Madrid links|
|Ronaldo an example for Lukaku to follow|
|Bertens battles back to blast past Kerber|
|Ramos apologises for training ground fracas|
|Raikkonen should take heed of Alonso misfortune as F1 career winds down|
|Guardiola wants Manchester City fans to push team to Champions League glory|
|Isco not interested in departed Ronaldo - he didn´t want to be here|
|World Series 2018: Three storylines to watch in Red Sox-Dodgers|
|Neymar focus bad for football - PSG´s Maxwell|
|Marco Ianni charged by FA over Jose Mourinho touchline row|
|Stephens sees off Osaka in see-saw Singapore battle|
|I´m happy at Manchester United - Mourinho dismisses Real Madrid reports|
|Semenya and Asher-Smith head IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Mandzukic to miss Manchester United trip|
|I turned down Manchester United to return to Juventus - Bonucci|
|Sanchez out of Manchester United´s clash with Juventus|
|Australia make Short work of run chase in T20 win|
|Brotherly g-love! Tommy Fury follows Tyson into the pros|
|Ozil´s international retirement can help Arsenal - Emery|
|If you sack Lopetegui, you have to sack us all – Isco|
|Lopetegui defiant amid Real Madrid sack reports|
|Sri Lanka spinner Herath to retire after Galle Test|
|Ronaldo returns for Old Trafford welcome amid disquieting noise|
|Garcia claims third Andalucia Valderrama Masters title|
|Ex-England international Waldrom retires|
|´Massive personality´ Hart can lift Burnley, says Kompany|
|Liverpool felt wrath of ´emotional´ Klopp, says Shaqiri|
|Reid: Jenkins capitalised on Kaepernick movement|
|Manchester United v Juventus: Ronaldo out to end dismal scoring record against Mourinho|
|Injured Ribery to miss Bayern´s clash with AEK|
|Wilshere would have stayed at Arsenal under Wenger|
|Mahomes stars again as Chiefs crush Bengals|
|Bolt must accept ´much less´ to join Mariners, says A-League chief|
|Klopp compares Liverpool to dog without favourite toy|
|Young leads Hawks to first win, Thunder fall in Westbrook´s return|
|Spalletti hits out at physical Milan – I had three players asking to be replaced|
|Cowboys, Ravens lose after missed kicks in final seconds|
|Hernangomez secures Nuggets´ win over Warriors with last-second block|
|Hasler returns to Manly on three-year deal|
|Sarri: Chelsea fans must respect Mourinho|
|Ronaldo learnt from Scholes – Pjanic praises Juventus star|
|CA dismisses spot-fixing claims|
|WATCH: Will Ferrell leads chants with LAFC fans|
|MLS Review: Galaxy on track for play-offs as Timbers, DC clinch spots|
|Elliott secures win at Hollywood Casino 400|
|Thunder´s Westbrook makes season debut against Kings|
|Saints beat Ravens after Tucker misses extra point|
|Rondo, Paul and Ingram banned after Lakers-Rockets fight|
|Saints QB Brees reaches another historic milestone|
|Biglia: VAR should have checked Nainggolan tackle|
|Gattuso not blaming Donnarumma for derby defeat|
|Seventh in Mexico will secure Hamilton´s fifth world title|
|Rooney fires DC United into MLS play-offs|
21 de octubre 2018
|Alonso slams ´amateur´ F1 rivals after latest crash|
|Spalletti fears lengthy Nainggolan absence|
|To the Max! Verstappen destroyed shoe fending off Hamilton|
|Icardi delight after Donnarumma error gives him another derby winner for Inter|
|Guardiola: Versatility the key for Stones|
|Vettel frustrated as mistakes continue to hamper title challenge|
|ECB refutes spot-fixing claims against England players|
|I thought we would do better - Hamilton queries Mercedes strategy|
|Inter 1 AC Milan 0: Icardi settles derby with dramatic late winner|
|Hamilton denied title party as Raikkonen wins in Austin|
|Patriots RB Michel out against Bears with gruesome knee injury|
|Kohli hails Rohit partnership after comprehensive India victory|