Rafael Nadal Has Pulled Out Of The Olympics And Wimbledon - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Rafael Nadal Has Pulled Out Of The Olympics And Wimbledon

The tennis star made the difficult decision to pull out of competition following his gruelling match against Novak Djokovic, believing his body wouldn’t be ready to compete at the highest level.

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While the sport of tennis is known to produce some controversial stars that polarise audiences, when it comes to Rafael Nadal it seems the Spaniard is one we all barrack for. Having dominated the sport for so long, Nadal is as beholden to our hearts as he is his home country, making the news that he will no longer compete at Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics all the more upsetting. 

That the 35-year-old has been feeling the brunt of his arduous career of late is nothing new. But after a gruelling match against Novak Djokovic that brought his French Open campaign to an end, it seems Nadal is no longer willing to simply put his body and mind through the rigours of competition solely as that’s what the competitive calendar requires. Rather, the tennis star is now choosing to listen to his body in the hope that it allows for greater longevity in the sport. 

Taking to social media, Nadal said the fact there were only two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon “didn’t make it easier” on his body to recover from “the always demanding” clay court season. He explained, “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 discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.”

Nadal has been a Wimbledon champion twice, winning the tournament in 2008 and 2010. He’s also won the Olympic gold medal in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games and in doubles at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. With 20 major singles grand slams to his name and a record 13 titles at the French Open, Nadal is one of the most decorated stars in his sport and many can only hope that he continues to add to his impressive resume in the future. 

“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 wrote. “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.”

Nadal sent a special message to fans in Great Britain and Japan following the announcement of his decision in which he wrote, “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.”

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

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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