MADRID – Rafael Nadal will not play at Wimbledon or the Tokyo Olympics, saying on Thursday that he decided to skip both tournaments after “listening” to his body.
Nadal, who reached the semi-finals of the French Open last week but lost to Novak Djokovic, won the title at Wimbledon twice, in 2008 and 2010. He also won the Olympic gold medal in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games and in doubles in Rio 2016. Games of Janeiro.
“The goal is to prolong my career and keep doing what makes me happy, which is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the highest level of competition,” said Nadal.
The 35-year-old Spaniard said the fact that there are only two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon “did not make it easier” for his body to recover from the “always demanding” clay court season.
“Sports prevention of any type of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career to try to continue fighting for the highest level of competition and titles,” Nadal wrote on Twitter.
Nadal is a 20-time Grand Slam champion with a record 13 titles at the French Open.
His loss at Roland Garros last Friday was just the third in 108 games in a tournament that he won each of the last four years, even beating Djokovic in the 2020 final.
Nadal sent a “special message” to fans in Britain and Japan in particular.
“The Olympic Games always meant a lot and were always a priority as an athlete, I found the spirit that every athlete in the world wants to live,” he wrote. “I personally had the opportunity to experience 3 of them and I had the honor of being the standard-bearer of my country.”
Nadal hadn’t played much amid the coronavirus pandemic and had a slow start to the season. He won two titles, in Barcelona and in Rome, and had a 23-4 record so far this year.