Why Are Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams Not Playing Wimbledon Championships 2021 Tune-Ups?

Published 06/15/2021, 8:18 AM EDT
Serena Williams of USA and Rafael Nadal of Spain with their winners trophies at the Wimbledon Championships 2010 Winners Ball at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel on July 4, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Two of the biggest names in the sporting world are Spanish star Rafael Nadal and the legendary Serena Williams. Over the years, these supremely gifted athletes have thrilled fans from all over the world with their performances at various events, especially the Wimbledon Championships.

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Besides entertaining the crowds, they have transformed themselves to such stature that youngsters look up to them as role models.  Recently, the Spaniard and the American player were seen in Paris at the French Open 2021. Unfortunately, they did not win the competition and anything less than winning the title is considered a disappointment for players of their caliber.

Now that the focus has shifted towards the grass-court events, the Wimbledon Championships is the tournament that players will dream of winning.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 10: Rafael Nadal of Spain looks dejected in defeat after the Gentlemen’s Singles fourth round match against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg on day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Usually, prior to the third Grand Slam of the calendar year, players take part in the warm-up events in order to get familiar with the grass-court conditions. However, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have decided to skip the warm-up events and focus instead on the Wimbledon Championships. 

Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal want to rest prior to the Wimbledon Championships

These two athletes have been involved in a lot of tennis tournaments lately. This year, the French Open was postponed by a week later, and the schedule has gotten cramped. So with little time ahead of the Championships, the veterans have decided to skip the warm-up events to give their bodies the adequate amount of rest. 

To add to the matter, players living in different parts of the world have to undergo quarantine protocols depending on the city they are living in. On this, Serena stated, “However, I don’t think I’m playing a prep tournament at Wimbledon. I’ll take a few days, go home and then get ready for London. I need to quarantine, so I’ll have to move pretty fast.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 10: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after beating Camila Giorgi of Italy in the ladies’ quarter final at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

On the other hand, Rafa has been involved in a hectic schedule over the past couple of months. He has featured in every clay-court event since Monte Carlo and was most recently seen at the French Open. The Spaniard played some physically and mentally exhausting matches. 

Therefore, these players deciding to skip the pre-Wimbledon tournament is understandable. These are such versatile players that shifting gears and adjusting to different surfaces is simply a matter of time of them. It will be interesting to see how Rafa and Serena perform at the Wimbledon Championships 2021. 

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Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

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Rohan Kollare

847 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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