Madrid: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal on Thursday announced that he has decided to skip this year's Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 13-time French Open champion said his goal is to prolong his career and to compete at the highest level of the sport. "Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year's Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It's never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss (discussing) it with my team I understand that it is the right decision," Nadal said in a statement on Twitter.
"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 Spanish superstar, who recently lost in the French Open semi-final, said the time between the Roland Garros and Wimbledon only made it difficult for him to get ready for the showpiece event, hence he decided not to participate in the tournament.
"The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG 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," said Nadal.
"Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles," he added.
Nadal said the Olympic Games were always his priority and he had the honour of representing his country in three quadrennial events.
"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. I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country," Nadal said.
"I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular," he added.
Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 and the Games will run up to August 8 this year. The event was slated to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.