‘The goal is to prolong my career,’ says Rafael Nadal as he withdraws from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics
Rafael Nadal won’t feature at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo after he withdrew from both events stating that it is the “right decision” if he wants to prolong his playing career.
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.”
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
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) June 17, 2021
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.
“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.
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) August 6, 2016
“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.”
Irina-Camelia Begu cops biggest fine so far at 2022 French Open after ‘unacceptable’ incident
Irina-Camelia Begu has been hit with a…
Rafael Nadal produces his ‘best match’ at 2022 French Open, up next Felix Auger-Aliassime and Uncle Toni
Rafael Nadal edges closer to potential Novak Djokovic showdown.
Novak Djokovic striving for perfection and more aggression after easing into Roland Garros fourth round
Novak Djokovic marches on at Roland Garros.
Belinda Bencic fumes at umpire over time violation during defeat to Leylah Fernandez at Roland Garros
It’s Leylah Fernandez v Amanda Anisimova up next at Roland Garros.
Exclusive – Why Carlos Alcaraz could be a hybrid of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Annabel Croft says Carlos Alcaraz has taken the best elements of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer to build his game.
Novak Djokovic ‘is back’ says John McEnroe as he makes world No 1 ‘very slight’ favourite for Roland Garros title
John McEnroe tipping Novak Djokovic to win the 2022 French Open.
Daniil Medvedev insists ‘if I can play Wimbledon I will be happy to be there, even without points’
Daniil Medvedev would jump at the chance to play at Wimbledon.
Tennis365’s live scores and results centre: Follow the French Open here
Aaaaand it’s live! Follow the action from Roland Garros…
Nick Kyrgios has ‘bigger fish to fry’ after Bernard Tomic challenges him ‘sort this out in the boxing ring’
Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic won’t be stepping into a boxing ring any time soon.
Irina-Camelia Begu escapes disqualification after ’embarrassing moment’ left young fan in tears
“I just want to apologise,” says Irina-Camelia Begu.