Rafael Nadal said he had run out of time in his grass-court preparation today, announcing he was withdrawing from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
The 35-year-old issued a shock statement withdrawing from both of the big events with Wimbledon beginning a week from Monday.
“The fact that there are only two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year has not helped my body recover from the always demanding clay court season. It has been two months of great effort and the decision I make is focused on the medium and long term,” he said in a statement.
“In these moments of my career as an athlete, an important part is the prevention of any type of excesses in my body that could prevent further fighting in the medium and long term for the titles.”
Nadal suffered a jolt as he lost his bid for a 14th Roland Garros title last week in a semi-final with eventual champion and hot rival Novak Djokovic.
“This is a decision that is never easy to make.
“After listening to my body and talking to my team, I understand that it is the right decision in order to extend my sports career and continue doing what makes me happy; compete at the highest level and keep fighting.”
The Olympic singles gold medalist at Beijing 2008 and holder of doubles gold at Rio eight years later, said he was distressed to be missing the Games in Japan.
“The Olympics have meant a lot in my career and have always been a priority as an athlete.
“I found the atmosphere that every athlete wants to feel at least once and personally I was lucky enough to experience them intensely on three occasions and also to be the standard-bearer of my country.”