“Didn’t Make it Easier on My Body”: Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Wimbledon Championships and Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 06/17/2021, 7:51 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


In a massive disappointment for his legions of fans, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from this year’s Wimbledon Championships as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Announcing the shattering news on Twitter, the 20-time Grand Slam champion said that he took the decision on the advice of his team.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Spaniard had fallen in the semifinals to eventual runner-up Roger Federer in the 2019 edition of Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal says he took the decision on the advice of his team

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Nadal added that it was not an easy decision to make but was one that was imperative after reading the signs of his body and considering his age. Nadal turned 35 during the French Open.

“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,” he said.

“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,” Nadal added.

The Spaniard said that what made his withdrawal unavoidable was the gap of just a couple of weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon, meaning that he wouldn’t have had adequate time to rest and recuperate between the two events.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The Spaniard, who picked up two titles in a grueling clay court season, crashed out in the semifinals at Roland-Garros after losing to eventual champion and current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a tense four-setter.

“The fact that there has only been 2 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 looking at the mid and long term,” the Spaniard said.

Nadal said prolonging his career is a priority at his age

Nadal said that at this stage of his career, avoiding too much stress on his body and prolonging his career is a priority and hence, he had to take a hard decision in the short term for long-term gain.

“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,” he added.

“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 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country,” the Spaniard said.

Watch This Link: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Other ATP Players’ Maiden Tour Title

Coming into Roland-Garros as the defending champion, Nadal looked to be poised for his 14th career title till he ran into Djokovic in the last four.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

After winning the opening set against the Serb at a canter, Nadal’s game fell away as Djokovic played superlative tennis to close out the match in four sets and progress to the final.

DIVE DEEPER

Rafael Nadal Explains Why He Chose Tennis As a Career

7 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT