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Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics to prolong career

2 minute read

June 17 (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, saying he took the decision after consultations with his team in a bid to prolong his career.

The 35-year-old Spaniard said the two-week gap between the French Open and Wimbledon -- which starts on June 28 -- was not enough time for him to recuperate after a demanding claycourt season where he played in five tournaments.

"I have decided not to participate at this year's Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Nadal, twice a Wimbledon champion, said on Twitter.

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"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."

Nadal, a 20-times Grand Slam winner, played at the Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona, Madrid Masters and Rome Masters before the French Open.

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Jun 11, 2021; Paris, France; Rafael Nadal (ESP) reacts during his semifinal match against Novak Djokovic (SRB) on day 13 of the French Open at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Nadal, a record 13-times champion at Roland Garros, made a run to this year's semi-finals and was knocked out by eventual champion Novak Djokovic in a four-set thriller -- only his third loss on the Parisian claywhere he has won 105 matches.

"The fact that there has only been two weeks between RG (Roland Garros) and Wimbledon, didn't make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season," he added.

"They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long-term."

Nadal has won two gold medals at the Olympics -- a singles title in 2008 in Beijing and a doubles gold at Rio 2016, where he was the flag bearer for Spain.

"The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live," Nadal said.

“I personally had the chance to live three of them and had the honour to be the flag bearer for my country.”

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru

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