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Watch Nadal: Too Many Injuries

A hobbled Rafael Nadal limped out of the Australian Open pausing to hug the driver before climbing in his courtesy car for the ride back to the hotel.

Nadal tried to embrace the challenge posed by Marin Cilic, but ultimately lost the pain game and the match.

Watch: Cilic Tops Hobbled Nadal

An upper right leg injury forced the grimacing world No. 1 to retire two games into the final set of the Australian Open quarterfinals.

"I am a positive person, and I can be positive, but today is an opportunity lost to be in the semifinals of a Grand Slam and fight for an important title for me," Nadal said afterward. "In this tournament already happened a couple of times in my life, so it's really I don't want to say frustration, but is really tough to accept, especially after a tough December that I had without having a chance to start in Abu Dhabi and then Brisbane.

"Yeah, I worked hard to be here. We did all the things that we believed were the right things to do to be ready. I think I was ready. I was playing okay. Yeah, I was playing a match that anything could happen: could win, could lose. I'm being honest. He was playing good, too. That's the real thing."

The 2017 finalist said he began feeling pain after chasing a drop shot in the fourth set. Nadal plans to have an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury.

"[It's] high on the leg. But I don't want to lie," Nadal said. "Tomorrow we going to communicate what's going on after the MRI. You know, is not the moment to say what's going on or what not going on because we really don't know and the doctor really don't know yet. Is better to wait just a few hours. Give me that time, and tomorrow afternoon we'll let you know."

The 16-time Grand Slam champion called on tour officials to consider the long-term health of players.

"Is not the right moment to say for me," Nadal said. "Somebody who is running the tour should think little bit about what's going on. Too many people getting injured. 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 this very, very hard surfaces what's going to happen in the future with our lives."

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve