Rafael Nadal recently took to Twitter to reveal that he is pulling out from the upcoming Wimbledon Championships and Tokyo Olympics. Nadal cited the need to "listen to his body" after a rigorous claycourt season as the reason behind his withdrawal.
In his statement, Rafael Nadal wrote that he had consulted with his team before taking the decision. The 35-year-old added that he was looking to prolong his career at the top, which suggests he will be a lot more selective with his schedule over the next few years.
"Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Nadal wrote. "It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision."
"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 he maximum level of competition," he added.
"The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG and Wimbledon didn’t make it easier on my body" - Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal is coming off a grueling clay season, where he played all the three Masters events in addition to Roland Garros and Barcelona. The Spaniard won the titles in Rome and Barcelona, but was bundled out of the French Open by eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal pointed out how the small gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon - just two weeks - played a role in his decision. He specifically highlighted the fact that he needed to recover from his toils on clay over the last couple of months.
"The fact that there has only been two weeks between RG and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding claycourt season," Nadal said. "They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term."
Rafael Nadal further insisted that he didn't want to push his body too much at his age, as that could hurt his chances of competing for the big titles.
"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," Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal also expressed his disappointment at not being able to attend the Tokyo Olympics, sparing a word for his Japanese fans in particular. The Spaniard, who has won two gold medals at the Games in the past, claimed that the event meant a lot to him.
Nadal ended his message on a positive note, expressing his gratitude for having been conferred with the honor of carrying the Spanish flag at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"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 wrote. "I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country."