Rafael Nadal announced Thursday, June 17 on social networks that he was giving up participating in the next Wimbledon tournament (June 28-July 11) as well as the Tokyo Olympics (July 23-August 8) in order to “Let your body recover”. “It is never an easy decision to make but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision”, he said.
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
“The goal is to extend my career and to continue doing what makes me happy, which is to play at the highest level”, wrote the 35-year-old player, Olympic champion in singles in 2008 and in doubles in 2016, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, and who lost Friday June 11 in the semi-final of Roland-Garros against the future winner Novak Djokovic.
→ READ. In tennis, grand slams at all costs
“Huge efforts” in the past two months
The Spaniard does not specifically indicate in his communication whether he suffers from an injury, but refers to the close schedules between Roland Garros and Wimbledon to justify his absence from the London grass tournament which he won twice (2008 and 2010). “The last two months have required enormous efforts and this is a decision that I am making in the medium and long term. Preventing any form of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in trying to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles ”.
Nadal has suffered in recent seasons from knee injuries which have sometimes kept him away from the field for a long time. The Spaniard had already had to withdraw from the London Games in 2012, due to a knee problem. He was the flag bearer of the Spanish delegation during the last Rio Olympics in 2016.
In his message Thursday, Nadal greets his fans in England and Japan and reminds that the Games “Have always been a priority for (him) as an athlete, finding in it a state of mind that every athlete in the world hopes to experience ”.