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Nadal forced to retire as Cilic reaches maiden Australian Open semi-final

The match was almost four hours old and well into the fifth set, which Croatian Marin Cilic was in the lead 3-6 6-3 7-6(5) 6-2 2-0, when Rafael Nadal was forced to retire due to a hip injury.

World number one Rafa Nadal. Picture: @AustralianOpen

JOHANNESBURG - The 2009 Australian Open Champion and World Number one Rafael Nadal was forced to retire during his quarter-final clash with Croatian Marin Cilic.

The match was almost four hours old and well into the fifth set, which Cilic was in the lead 3-6 6-3 7-6(5) 6-2 2-0, when Nadal was forced to retire due to a hip injury.

Cilic will now face giant slayer Kyle Edmund in the semi-finals after he beat Grigor Dimitrov earlier on Tuesday.

Nadal was beaten by fellow veteran Roger Federer in last year’s Australian Open Final, traded epic blows with Cilic during their encounter before the injury struck in the fifth set.

“It’s not the first time here,” an ashen-faced Nadal told reporters.

“I am a positive person ... but today is an opportunity lost to be in semifinals of a grand slam.”

Of the seven-grand slam quarterfinal defeats of his career, five have now come on the blue hardcourts at Melbourne Park.

The 16-times grand slam champion said he felt the strain in the third set but was not affected until the fourth when it twinged during a scramble for a drop-shot.

He signed off his news conference on a sour note, complaining that too many players were getting injuries.

“Somebody who is running the tour should think a little bit about what’s going on,” said the Spaniard.

”I don’t know if they have to think a little bit about the health of the players.

“Not for now that we are playing, but there is life after tennis. I don’t know if we keep playing in these very, very hard surfaces what’s going to happen in the future with our lives.”

This is the first time Cilic has reached the Australian Open Semi-finals.

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