Nadal out of Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics to rest his body

RAFAEL Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics with fitness concerns and “to prolong my career.”

The SunSports reports that the Spaniard hinted that he was a doubt for the SW19 tournament, which starts on June 28, following his epic four-hour, four-set defeat to 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 to his 15.5milllion Twitter followers, 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, 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 in the darkness at the All England Club.

He added his second Wimbledon crown two years later while Andy Murray claimed men’s singles gold at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.