Rafael Nadal to Skip 2021 Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics to Recover After French Open

Adam WellsJune 17, 2021

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during the men's singles semifinal against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, June 11, 2021. (Photo by Gao Jing/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Gao Jing/Xinhua via Getty Images

On the heels of a grueling semifinal loss at the French Open, Rafael Nadal has decided to skip two of the biggest events of the summer. 

Nadal tweeted on Thursday that he won't compete at Wimbledon or the Tokyo Olympics in order to rest his body and have enough time to recover "to prolong my career":

Rafa Nadal @RafaelNadal

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 he maximum level of competition.

Nadal specifically highlighted the lack of time between the end of the French Open and start of Wimbledon as a key reason that he won't be able to participate in the upcoming events: 

"The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between [Roland-Garros] and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season. They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term."

Nadal sat out two months earlier this year after the Australian Open because of a back injury. He did play in five events over the past two months, culminating in his run to the semifinals at Roland-Garros. 

The 35-year-old lost a memorable four-set match to Novak Djokovic on June 11 that took more than four hours to complete. 

This will mark the first time since 2016 that Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon prior to the start of the tournament. He was dealing with a wrist injury that year. 

Nadal has represented Spain at the Olympics three times previously. He has won two career gold medals in men's singles (2008) and men's doubles (2016).

Wimbledon is scheduled to take place from June 28-July 11. The Olympics will run from July 23-Aug. 8 in Tokyo.