In a bid to prolong his career and remain competitive at the highest level, 20-time grand slam champion and veteran tennis player, Rafael Nadal, has said he would not participate in this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and also the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Having lost the semis at Roland Garros to Novak Djokovic, the ‘King of Clay’ does not feel his body would allow him participate at Wimbledon with just two weeks apart.
The Spaniard is a two-time Wimbledon winner and the gold medalist at Beijing Olympics in 2018.
The 35-year-old tweeted on his official account, “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.”
There was usually a three-week gap between tournaments but it was reduced to two weeks and the Spanish tennis stalwart believes his body may not be able to carry the burden which also raises fitness concerns for his team.
“The fact that there has 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,” he continued.
“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.
And he has some thoughts for his fans, “I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular,” he wrote.
Sharing his personal feelings on the Olympics, he said it was joy representing Spain as he enjoyed the sports camaraderie that the Games evoked.
“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 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country,” he concluded.
Azuka Edokobi is a Writer , a Farmer, a Supply Chain Expert and an Entrepreneur