Rafael Nadal has announced his shock withdrawal from the upcoming Wimbledon Grand Slam and Tokyo Olympics after failing to recover from the physical demands of the recent French Open, where he lost in the semi-finals.
The Spaniard, who was last successful at SW19 in 2010, when he won the last of his two titles there, made his announcement via social media on Thursday afternoon.
“Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he began.
“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 revealed.
“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.
“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,” Nadal went on.
“I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular.
“The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a sportsperson, I found the spirit that every sportsperson in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live three of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country,” he finished.
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Now aged 35, this may be the last chance the world number three and 20-time Grand Slam winner gets to represent Spain at the tournament held every four years.
As he won gold in the men’s singles in 2008 in Beijing, however, in addition to coming out on top in the men’s doubles alongside Marc Lopez in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, which is when he also took the Spanish flag to the opening ceremony, his legacy there is already secure.