French Open semi finalist Rafael Nadal pulls out of the Wimbledon Championships and the Olympic Games in Tokyo following concerns regarding his fitness.
The 35-year-old Spaniard has announced that he will not be playing at Wimbledon or the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer. The World No. 3 last won at the All England Club in 2010.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has had his fair share of knee injuries throughout his career and said the reasoning behind his decision was to help “prolong his career.”
In a lengthy statement on social media, the Nadal said: “Hello everybody. I want to inform you that I have decided not to participate in the next edition of Wimbledon that will be held from June 28 to July 11. Nor will I play the Olympic Games finally scheduled for July 24-30.
“It is a decision that is never easy to make and after listening to my body and talking to my team, I understand that it is the right decision in order to extend my sports career and continue doing what makes me happy; compete at the highest level and continue to fight for professional and personal challenges at the highest level in a competitive way.
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“The fact that there are only two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year has not helped my body recover from the always demanding clay court season. It has been two months of great effort and the decision I make is focused on the medium and long term.
“In these moments of my career as an athlete, an important part is the prevention of any type of excesses in my body that could prevent further fighting in the medium and long term for the titles.
“I want to send a special greeting to all my fans around the world, to those in the UK and in Japan. The Olympic Games have meant a lot in my career and have always been a priority as an athlete, where I found the environment that every athlete wants to feel at least once in their career. Personally, I was lucky enough to experience them intensely on three occasions and also to be the standard-bearer of my country.”
With the Wimbledon Championships and the Olympics out of the way, his next major tournament is likely to be the US Open at the end of August.