Rafael Nadal Will Skip Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics

Source link

Rafael Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam tournament winner, will not go for No. 21 at Wimbledon this year, he announced on Thursday. He also pulled out of the Olympics, and in doing so became the latest top athlete to suggest that compressed sports schedules after the pandemic were asking too much of their biggest stars.

“Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he wrote in a series of posts on Twitter. “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.”

Nadal has struggled with injuries during his career, and Wimbledon is played on grass, a surface that is not his favorite. (He has won there only twice, and now will have missed the event three times since 2009.) The Olympics in Tokyo will be played on hardcourts.

Nadal most recently skipped last year’s U.S. Open in New York, citing concerns about the coronavirus.

Nadal cited the short turnaround between the French Open and Wimbledon as the reason for his withdrawal, saying it would not give him enough time to recuperate.

Nadal, 35, is coming off a memorable French Open semifinal against Novak Djokovic last week. In a bid to win the tournament for the 14th time, Nadal won the first set before eventually losing in four. Djokovic went on to win the tournament.

Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer, 39, are locked in a battle to amass the most career Grand Slam men’s singles titles. Nadal and Federer have 20 and Djokovic has 19. No other player has more than 14.

Nadal has played in three previous Olympics, winning the singles gold medal in Beijing in 2008. In 2016, he carried the flag of Spain at the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *