Rafael Nadal will sit out Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics to rest and recover “after listening to my body,” he announced via social media on Thursday, taking one of the biggest stars of tennis out of two of the sport’s biggest events in 2021.
“The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy,” the 35-year-old Spaniard said.
He lost to Novak Djokovic in four grueling sets that lasted more than four hours in the semifinals of the French Open last week — just the third loss for Nadal in 108 career matches at Roland Garros, where he has won a record 13 championships.
That defeat ended Nadal’s 35-match winning streak at the clay-court major tournament and his bid for a fifth consecutive title there.
Nadal is tied with Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles won by a man with 20; Djokovic went on to win the French Open on Sunday for his 19th major.
Nadal’s Slam total includes two trophies at Wimbledon, in 2008 and 2010.
He also owns two Olympic gold medals, in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games and in doubles with Marc Lopez at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, where Nadal was Spain’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
In 2012, Nadal pulled out of the London Olympics and the U.S. Open because of knee tendinitis.—AP