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Nadal Announces on Social Media That He is Out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has opted out of Wimbledon and the Olympics. EPA-EFE/Alejandro Garcia
By Ricky Dimon

On the heels of his energy-sapping and painful French Open semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal will miss at least the next six weeks of the summer. Nadal announced on Thursday that he is withdrawing from both Wimbledon and the Olympics.

“Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” the 35-year-old Spaniard posted on social media. “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.

“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.

“The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG 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. Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.”

Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion (2008, 2010) but has not advanced to the final since 2011. This will mark his fourth absence from the All-England Club since he began playing there in 2003–not including the 2020 Covid-19 cancellation.

The current world No. 3 has earned a gold medal in each of his two appearances at the Olympic Games. He won the singles event 13 years ago in Beijing and teamed up with Marc Lopez to capture doubles gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Nadal finished fourth in singles that summer.

“I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular,” he continued. “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 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country.”

Nadal hopes to resume his season later in the hard-court summer, culminating at the U.S. Open–a tournament that has suited him better than Wimbledon. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has triumphed in New York in 2010, 2013, 2017, and 2019.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Editors Note • We think Rafa and his team made a good decision. This has been a very stressful pandemic. It’s so hard to even imagine that tennis is being played. Other sports don’t all require you “globe trotting” the world. It’s not easy … good call RAFA. Great clay season till you hit the “WALL”.