Rafael Nadal To Miss Wimbledon And Tokyo Olympics

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics due to fitness concerns and ‘to prolong my career’.

The Spaniard hinted that he was a doubt for the year’s third Grand Slam, which starts on 28 June, following his epic four-hour, four-set defeat to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals.

Nadal, who is tied on 20 Grand Slams with Roger Federer, has also expressed his reservation about going to Japan next month due to the restrictions and Covid-19 protocols in place.

In a statement put out on social media world No3 Nadal said that the fortnight gap between the French Open finishing and the start of Wimbledon was too little time to rest and recover.

The 35-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, who is back home in Mallorca, said: “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 he maximum level of competition.

“The fact that there has only been two weeks between 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.

“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 Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live.

“I personally had the chance to live three of them and had the honour to be the flag bearer for my country.”

Nadal won Wimbledon and the Olympics for the first time in a stunning 2008 summer, including his epic five-set victory over Federer at the All England Club.

He added his second Wimbledon crown two years later.