Tennis: Nadal to skip Wimbledon to focus on Olympics

AFP , Thursday 13 Jun 2024

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

Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain bites his gold medal for the photographers after beating Fernando Gonzalez of Chile during their Gold medal singles tennis at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008. AP

 

Spanish tennis chiefs announced Wednesday that 22-time Grand Slam winner Nadal and newly crowned French Open champion Carlos Alcaraz would be part of the country's team at the Games next month.

Nadal, 38, lost in the first round at Roland Garros last month and indicated he was likely to skip Wimbledon, played on grasscourts, where he was champion in 2008 and 2010.

The injury-plagued Spaniard, who has slumped to 264 in the world, said after his exit 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, a 14-time French Open champion, 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 on the tennis calendar.

"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 won Olympic gold in singles in 2008 at Beijing and in doubles at the 2016 Rio Games.

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