World number three Rafael Nadal has pulled out of this month’s Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympic Games, saying he needs to “recuperate after a long clay-court season”.
The 35-year-old said the shorter turnaround between the French Open and Wimbledon was a key factor in his decision.
This year, there are only two weeks between the French Open finishing on the clay and Wimbledon starting on the grass. Usually, there are three weeks between the two majors.
The French Open was pushed back a week by Roland Garros organisers in order to start the tournament with fewer of the country’s coronavirus restrictions in place – including allowing fans in to watch.
“The fact that there has only been two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay-court season,” Nadal said in a Twitter post announcing the news.
“They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term.”
“It’s never an easy decision but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision,” the Spaniard 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 the maximum level of competition,” he added.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had earlier hinted at the decision after his defeat by Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals last week.