Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal on Thursday announced that he has decided to skip this year’s Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Hi all, I’ve decided not to participate in this year’s Wimbledon Championships or the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision,” he wrote on Twitter.
I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) June 17, 2021
This is for the first time since 2016 that the 20-time champion will not compete at Wimbledon, and the last time the Spaniard did not compete in the Olympics was in 2004.
After losing to Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros, Nadal hinted that he would withdraw from Wimbledon.
“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 he maximum level of competition,” Nadal said.
He pointed out that the scheduling of Wimbledon and French Open didn’t give his body the time to recover after a “demanding season.”
“The fact that Roland Garros and Wimbledon are only two weeks apart didn’t make it easy to recuperate after the always demanding clay-court season,” the statement said.
The Spanish superstar, who recently lost in the French Open semi-final, said the time between the Roland Garros and Wimbledon only made it difficult for him to get ready for the showpiece event, hence he decided not to participate in the tournament.
Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 and the Games will run up to August 8 this year. The event was slated to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.