Uncle Toni Admits He Was Surprised by Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon Championships 2021 Withdrawal

Published 06/24/2021, 7:44 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal leaves court after losing his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Toni Nadal, the longtime coach, and uncle of Rafael Nadal has opened up on his nephew’s withdrawal from this year’s Wimbledon Championships. Speaking to Spanish sports publication Marçà, Toni revealed that was taken by surprise at Nadal’s decision not to travel to All England.


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The veteran coach, who now works with Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime, said though he was aware that his nephew was dealing with a “few small problems”, he didn’t think the ‘King of Clay’ would skip Wimbledon altogether. However, he didn’t elaborate on the “problems” that he claimed his nephew had.

Rafael Nadal had a few small problems, says Toni Nadal


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“It did surprise me. It is true that he had a few small problems, but obviously, I thought he would play,” Toni said.

Sharing a long note on Twitter announcing his shock pullout from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, Nadal said the decision taken after due consultations with his team wasn’t an easy one but seemed right on reflection.

After closing his clay court season with a rare semi-final loss to eventual champion Novak Djokovic at Roland-Garros, the Spaniard told reporters that he would rest and recover in the company of his family and friends for a few weeks before taking a call on his participation at Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.

He later shared a series of tweets, announcing his withdrawal from these marquee events and detailing the reasons for the same.

The Spaniard, who turned 35 during the French Open, said he has to read and respect the signs of his body at his age in the interest of prolonging his career and doing what he loves for the longest time possible.

Nadal had tweeted it wasn’t an easy decision not to play Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics

“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 discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision,” Nadal tweeted.

He added that at this stage of his career, he has to ensure that he doesn’t put excessive stress on his body.

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

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“In these moments of my career as an athlete, an important part is the prevention of any type of excesses in my body that could prevent further fighting in the medium and long term for the titles,” Nadal said.


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He also expressed his disappointment at not playing the Olympics, saying it had been a priority for him as an athlete.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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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.