'The goal is to prolong my career,' Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics

‘The goal is to prolong my career,’ Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics
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‘The goal is to prolong my career,’ Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics

Highlights

Rafael Nadal will not participate in this year’s Wimbledon and the subsequent Tokyo Olympics, the tennis start announced on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal will not participate in this year's Wimbledon and the subsequent Tokyo Olympics, the tennis start announced on Thursday.

The very small gap between the Roland Garros and the Wimbledon was one of the major reasons behind Nadal's tough decision, the 20-time Grand Slam winner wrote in a long post on his social media accounts.

He recently lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of his favourite major tournament, the French Open, which was the Spaniard's only third loss in the tournament since his debut in 2005. Nadal's tally at the Roland Garros still is incredible at 105-3.

"Hi all, I have decided not to participate in 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," Nadal wrote in his first of many tweets on Thursday.

"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 35-year-old added.



Coming on the back of wins in Barcelona and Rome, Nadal had a busy lead-up path to his fortress, Stade Roland Garros.

"The fact that there have 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 on 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.

I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular," wrote further 13-time French Open champion.

"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," wrote Nadal, who won Gold in the singles event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

During the 2021 French Open, former World No. 1 Roger Federer had to withdraw despite winning the third round. The Swiss legend, who underwent two surgeries last year, wanted to protect his body ahead of Wimbledon, a major tournament where he has lifted the winner's trophy on eight occasions.

Ahead of the Wimbledon, the defending champion Djokovic will look to match Nadal and Federer's Grand Slam tally – 20. By beating Nadal in the French Open's semi-final earlier this month, Djokovic denied the Spaniard a golden chance of going ahead in the Grand Slam count.

Last year, Wimbledon was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The All England Club tournament was scrapped from the tennis calendar for the very first time in almost a century. Wimbledon 2021 is set to begin on June 28 and will go on till July 11.

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