Rafael Nadal will not be competing in this year's Wimbledon or at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The tennis superstar announced the news on Twitter and said he made the decision after "listening to my body." He mentioned that the fact there are only two weeks off between Roland Garros (French Open) and Wimbledon played a role in him taking some time off.
"I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Nadal wrote. "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 the maximum level of competition."
Nadal continued: "The fact that there has only been 2 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."
This will be the third time since 2005 that Nadal missed the tournament at the All England Club. Nadal missed Wimbledon in 2009 and 2016 and hasn't reached the finals since 2011, per ESPN. He won the tournament in 2008 and 2010 and most recently reached the semifinals in 2018 and 2019. Wimbledon wasn't played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When it comes to the Olympics, Nadal talked about how much the event means to him. "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," Nadal stated. "I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country.“ Nadal won Olympic gold medals in singles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and doubles at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In Nadal's career, he has won 20 Grand Slam tournaments, including the French Open 13 times. This year, Nadal has posted a 23-4 record and won two titles in Barcelona and Rome.