Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal announced that he will no longer participate in Wimbledon and the Olympics this year for both his health and career.
“It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and [discussing] it with my team, I understand that it is the right decision,” he said.
“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.”
Recovery and focus
The 35-year-old athlete recently competed at the Roland Garros (The French Open) which concluded on June 13, 2021. If Nadal pushes through with playing at Wimbledon, he will only have two weeks to recover and prepare for the upcoming games.
“The fact that there [have] 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 [on] looking at the mid and long term,” he said.
The two-time Wimbledon champion said that taking a break at this stage of his career is important “in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.”
Nadal has also competed in the Olympics before, winning two gold medals for Spain. He emerged as the champion in both the 2008 Beijing singles game and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro doubles game.
“The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as [an athlete]. I found the spirit that every [athlete] 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 said.
Wimbledon will be happening from June 28 to July 11, while the tennis competition for the Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 24 to August 1.