On Thursday morning, 20-time Grand Slam winner and tennis player Rafael Nadal shared on Twitter he will not be participating in the 2021 Wimbledon tournament nor the Olympics in Tokyo.
“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,” Nadal said among a thread of six posts.
Injuries have plagued Nadal in the twilight stages of his career, including two right-knee procedures among a number of other issues.
According to Forbes in February, Nadal planned to compete in Wimbledon, the Olympics, and the U.S. Open.
The 35-year-old Spaniard suffered a grueling semi-final loss to French Open winner Novak Djokovic in a match that spanned more than four hours at Roland Garros.
Long-time rival Roger Federer made a similar decision when he pulled out of the French Open despite advancing in the tournament.
The 39-year-old and 20-time Grand Slam champion wanted to avoid injuring himself further ahead of Wimbledon, already managing knee problems.
But while Federer plans to play, Nadal will be missing Wimbledon for the third time in his career. Canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the left-handed star appeared in the semi-finals of Wimbledon the year before.
Because he will miss two marquee events of the tennis calendar, it begs the question: will Nadal be healthy enough to play in the 2021 U.S. Open?
Nadal is a four-time U.S. Open champ, and the tournament is scheduled to begin on August 30, which is three weeks after the closing ceremony of the Olympics.
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