Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon and Tokyo 2020 in order to help ‘prolong career’

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.

The Wimbledon main draw is set to start on June 28, while the first round of the men’s singles in Tokyo gets under way a month later on July 24.

Nadal lost his French Open semi-final to eventual winner Novak Djokovic last week, and the 35-year-old said the two-week gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon “didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season”.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion added on Twitter: “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.

Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. 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.”

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Nadal last won Wimbledon in 2010, two years after his first triumph at SW19 when he beat Roger Federer in an all-time classic final.

The Spaniard has also competed at three Olympic Games, appearing at Athens 2004 before winning singles gold at Beijing 2008 and doubles gold at Rio 2016 – he withdrew from London 2012 with injury.

He added: “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.

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“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.”

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