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Nadal listens to his body, withdraws From Wimbledon, Olympic Games

Rafal Nadal. Photo: @rolandgarros/Twitter

Madrid, June 17 (MNN) Men’s tennis player Rafael Nadal on Thursday announced his withdrawal from the Wimbledon starting from June 28 and the Tokyo Olympics from July 23.

“Hi all, I have decided not to participate in 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 discussing it with my team, I understand that it is the right decision,” 20-time grand slam champion and 2008 Olympic gold medallist (men’s singles) said on Twitter.

“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.

“The fact that there have only been two weeks between RG 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.

“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.”

Nadal, who was beaten in the semi-finals of the French Open in June by the eventual title winner Novak Djokovic, said: “The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a sportsperson, I found the spirit that every sportsperson 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.”

The 35-year-old Spaniard, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros after lifting the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell trophies, cited the need to recover physically after a demanding clay-court season.

The Spaniard is the only the second men’s singles tennis player after Andre Agassi to have won all the four Grand Slams and also holds two Olympic gold medals, one in singles from the 2008 Games in Beijing and another in doubles from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro (w/Lopez).

The three-way battle to become the world’s most successful men’s singles player heated up as Novak Djokovic won the French Open to pick up his 19th career slam, which puts him just one Grand Slam title behind Nadal and Federer.

Federer had earlier pulled out mid-way through his French Open campaign to preserve himself for the grass court season.

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