June 16 | 06

Rafa retired from the Stella Artois Championships this afternoon with a shoulder injury. He had played two sets before sadly having to leave the court.

Rafa struggled with his serve in the first set, he held on to his opening serve despite a bizarre shot from Hewitt which went round the net ricocheted of the singles net post and landed in court. Rafa survived five break points in this set, playing the big points better than Hewitt., including one forehand down the line which was clocked at 100mph. He went on to take the first set 6-3.
In the second set Hewitt raced to 4-1 lead at the sit down the trainer came on and Rafa took a three minute time out and had massage to the top of his shoulder.

He returned to the fray but lost his next serve; trailing 1-5 he fought back and as Hewitt served for the match broke the Aussie's serve. Rafa battled to hold his own serve but at 5-3, Hewitt made no mistake on his next serve and took the second set 6-3.

Rafa has become a favourite on his first appearance at Queens Club, even the ball girls fight for a place on his court. Tim Henman admires Nadal's commitment to the game saying, 'What Nadal has done since Roland Garros speaks volumes for his game and his attitude, it's just fantastic.'

We wish you well Rafa and hope your injury is not too serious and that you grace the grass courts of SW19 and charm the Wimbledon crowds as you have done this week at Queens.

Written by: Kate Flory