Nadal To Skip Wimbledon, Focus On Olympics

Rafael Nadal stated on Thursday that he will miss Wimbledon to focus on the Paris Olympics, which will be held on the clay courts at Roland Garros.

The announcement came a day after Spanish tennis officials confirmed that the 14-time French Open winner would partner up with Carlos Alcaraz at the Games in the French capital, which begin late next month.

Nadal, 38, lost in the first round of Roland Garros last month and said he was likely to skip Wimbledon, which is played on grasscourts and where he won the title in 2008 and 2010.

The injury-plagued Spaniard, who has dropped to 264 in the global rankings, remarked after losing to eventual runner-up Alexander Zverev in Paris that switching surfaces would not be “smart”.

“It looks difficult to make a transition to grass, having the Olympics again on clay,” he said at the time.

The former world number one, who won the Olympics singles title in Beijing in 2008, only returned to competition in April after missing most of the past 16 months through injury.

On Thursday he confirmed on social media that he would not be travelling to London to take part in the third Grand Slam of the year.

“During my post-match press conference at Roland Garros I was asked about my summer calendar and since then I have been practising on clay,” he tweeted.

“It was announced yesterday that I will play at the summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics.”

He added: “With this goal, we believe that the best for my body is not to change surface and keep playing on clay until then.

“It’s for this reason that I will miss playing at the Championships this year at Wimbledon. I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that amazing event that will always be in my heart, and be with all the British fans that always gave me great support. I will miss you all.”

Nadal, who won the Olympic doubles title with Marc Lopez at the 2016 Rio Games, will prepare for Paris with the Bastad clay court tournament in Sweden, which begins on July 15.

The veteran, who is second all-time in men’s Grand Slam wins behind Novak Djokovic, will compete in doubles at the Olympics alongside freshly crowned French Open champion and reigning Wimbledon champion Alcaraz.

Both will compete in singles in the tennis tournament in Paris, which begins July 27.

Nadal, who has a 7-5 win-loss record this year, admitted at the start of the recent French Open that there was a potential he would not return to Roland Garros, but asserted he was still “100 percent open” to completing his career.

His absence from Wimbledon, which begins on July 1, is a significant setback for organisers, as Djokovic is a huge doubt following a knee operation.

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