Rafael Nadal PULLS OUT of Wimbledon and the Olympics ‘after listening to my body’ and having struggled to cope with just a two-week break after the French Open
Rafael Nadal has announced he will not be playing at Wimbledon or the Olympic Games this summer in order to protect his body.
The 35-year-old, who won the last of his two titles at the All England Club in 2010, revealed the news on his Twitter feed.
He wrote: ‘Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.’
Rafael Nadal has announced he won’t be competing at Wimbledon or the Olympic Games
The Spaniard said he has ‘listened to my body’ and struggled to recover from the French Open
Nadal has always found the transition from clay to grass tough on his body and, with only two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon this year, there is less time to adjust.
The Spaniard was clearly struggling physically towards the end of his brutal loss to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals at Roland Garros and was notably vague about his schedule afterwards.
Nadal, who will be replaced as third seed at Wimbledon by Stefanos Tsitsipas, missed the Championships in 2004, 2009 and 2016 because of injury and will no doubt see the US Open as a better chance to win a 21st grand slam title.
He has lifted the trophy in New York on four occasions, including in 2017 and 2019.
The Spaniard continued: ‘The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.
Rafael Nadal’s statement in full
Hello everybody. I want to inform you that I have decided not to participate in the next edition of Wimbledon that will be held from June 28 to July 11. Nor will I play the Olympic Games finally scheduled for July 24-30.
It is a decision that is never easy to make and after listening to my body and talking to my team, I understand that it is the right decision in order to extend my sports career and continue doing what makes me happy; compete at the highest level and continue to fight for professional and personal challenges at the highest level in a competitive way.
The fact that there are only two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year has not helped my body recover from the always demanding clay court season. It has been two months of great effort and the decision I make is focused on the medium and long term.
In these moments of my career as an athlete, an important part is the prevention of any type of excesses in my body that could prevent further fighting in the medium and long term for the titles.
I want to send a special greeting to all my fans around the world, to those in the UK and in Japan. The Olympic Games have meant a lot in my career and have always been a priority as an athlete, where I found the environment that every athlete wants to feel at least once in their career. Personally, I was lucky enough to experience them intensely on three occasions and also to be the standard-bearer of my country.
Clay-court king Nadal was knocked out of the French Open in the semi-final by Novak Djokovic
He needed medical treatment during one of the breaks in the Djokovic match last week
‘The fact that there has only been two weeks between RG (Roland Garros) and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season.
‘They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term.’
Nadal is a double Olympic champion having won gold in singles in Beijing in 2008 and in doubles with Marc Lopez in Rio in 2016, when he also carried Spain’s flag in the opening ceremony.
‘I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular,’ he said.
‘The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live three of them and had the honour to be the flag bearer for my country.’
The 35-year-old has always found the transition from clay to grass tough on his body
The news about double Olympic champion Nadal is a big blow to Spain’s medal hopes in Tokyo