Andy Roddick gives his honest verdict on Rafael Nadal deciding to skip Wimbledon

Ewan West
Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal
Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal

Former world No 1 Andy Roddick believes Rafael Nadal “could have won matches and made a run” at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships if he decided to play.

The 2003 US Open winner thinks Wimbledon might now be Nadal’s “best best” to win a Grand Slam, but he still feels the Spaniard has made the right choice by skipping the event.

Nadal will miss Wimbledon, which will begin on Monday, in order to prioritise his preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The tennis event at this year’s Games will be played on clay at Roland Garros from July 27 to August 4.

The 38-year-old tennis icon will make his return to action at the ATP 250 clay-court event in Bastad, which will run from July 15-21.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion last featured at the 2024 French Open at the end of May, where he was beaten by Alexander Zverev in the opening round.

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This will be the sixth time Nadal will have missed Wimbledon since making his Grand Slam debut at the All England Club in 2003. He also pulled out of the grass-court Major in 2004, 2009, 2012, 2021 and 2023.

Nadal defeated Taylor Fritz in five sets in the quarter-finals of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships in his last match at the All England Club. The former world No 1 was forced to withdraw before his semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal tear.

Speaking on the Served with Andy Roddick podcast, Roddick weighed in on Nadal’s decision not to compete at tennis’ most prestigious event.

“He (Nadal) could have won matches and made a run [at Wimbledon] if he chose to play, but I get it. Switching surfaces sucks for the body,” said the American.

“All of a sudden, you go from building up reserves on clay, grinding out matches, your bodywork, and all of a sudden you’re dealing with lower back issues on grass because you’re bending and twisting and that’s not of need to him.

“Listen, he made the right decision, but in my mind, I’m going, I have had the thought, I don’t know if I fully believe it, but that (Wimbledon) might be his best bet to win a Slam or get to a last four right now, even including clay.

“So, based on what his body’s capable of doing, the movement, speed, gets a little help on the serve, all the adjustments that he has to make, for his body now, are kind of adjustments that he has to make on grass anyway.

“I’m just happy we’re going to see him again [at the Olympics].”

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