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Rafael Nadal exits Wimbledon tournament and Tokyo Olympics

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-18 09:17
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Spain's Rafael Nadal leaves court after losing his semi final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic in Paris on June 11, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID -- Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal confirmed on Thursday that he has withdrawn from the upcoming Wimbledon tournament and the Tokyo Olympics.

The 35-year-old announced the decision on social media explaining that he had "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," said the player, who missed London 2012 with tendonitis in his knee.

"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," he added.

Nadal was knocked out of the French Open in the semifinals by eventual winner Novak Djokovic and said the lack of rest periods between Roland Garros and Wimbledon was one reason for not competing at the All-England Club.

"The fact that there has 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."

"These have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term," he explained.

Nadal has triumphed twice in Wimbledon (2008 and 2010) and won the gold medal in the singles event in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and a gold in doubles in Rio in 2016.

"The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they are 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 three of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country," read in his social media statement. 

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