Rafael Nadal's Australian Open hopes were dashed in cruel fashion as he retired through injury in the fifth set of his quarter-final against Marin Cilic. Former US Open champion Cilic produced a hugely impressive display on Rod Laver Arena, his stinging, flat forehands a particularly potent weapon throughout a contest that was brought to a premature end after three hours and 47 minutes.
However, the Croatian was significantly aided by a clear deterioration in the fitness of Nadal, whose movement was compromised after he called for a medical timeout in the fourth set.
Although Nadal initially continued after receiving prolonged treatment on his upper right leg, he was ultimately unable to compete and retired when trailing 2-0 in the decider.
Cilic will now face surprise package Kyle Edmund in the last four, with hopes of a rematch of last year's final between Nadal and Roger Federer having been sensationally ended. The seriousness of Nadal's injury remains to be seen, but the top seed cut a forlorn figure as he exited the court to sympathetic applause.