Rafael Nadal Confirms that He Will Not Play in this Year’s Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (Credit: Getty Images)

Nadal suggested it in Paris, after being eliminated in the first round by Alexander Zverev, on May 26: “It seems difficult for him to go, I don’t think it is appropriate to make a transition from dirt to grass when the Games are on dirt.” And Rafael Nadal confirmed it this Thursday, through a statement: “ Yesterday it was announced that I will play in the Paris Olympic Games, my last Games. With this objective, we think that the best thing for my body is not to make surface changes and continue playing on clay until the Games. For that reason, I will not play Wimbledon this year.” The Spanish tennis player, therefore, will not compete in the English major starting July 1, focusing on the Olympic event that will take place at the Roland Garros facilities. And in between, a preparatory tournament in Bastad (Sweden), from July 15 to 21.

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“It saddens me not to be able to experience this year the great atmosphere of that great event that will always be in my heart and to be with all the British fans who always gave me great support,” Nadal continued through his social networks. The 38-year-old Mallorcan will miss the third major of the season for the sixth time in his career after absences in 2004, 2009, 2016, 2021, and 2023. It is the third in the last four editions. Champion in 2008 and 2010, he remained in his last participations with honey on his lips – semi-finals in 2018, 2019, and 2022 – and now the physicist once again recommends a parenthesis, taking into account the abrupt change of surface, the risks involved in the maneuvers on grass – knees and elbows, the latter for the balls – and the proximity of Paris 2024.

The last time he went to the All England Club, two years ago, the Spaniard left the complex with an abdominal tear, without being able to compete in the penultimate round against the Australian Nick Kyrgios. If he was then able to alleviate the severe effects of the chronic injury that has plagued his left foot since he was 18 and managed to play in London, his subsequent journey has been dotted with various ailments — as well as a psoas and hip operation, a little more than a year—who have relegated him from the slopes for a long time. This season, Nadal has only been able to play 12 matches, with a balance of seven wins and five losses distributed in five tournaments; the last of them, recently in Paris, where despite everything he perceived better bodily sensations and also from a strictly tennis point of view.

Now, their goal is to arrive in more or less optimal conditions to the French capital. So even though his name appeared on the entry list published by Wimbledon in May, the Spaniard – currently 264th in the world – will concentrate on sand preparation. The chosen tournament is Bastad, where he previously paraded in 2003, 2004, and 2005, when his career in the elite was beginning to take shape. In the first and second years, he lost in the quarterfinals—against Nicolás Lapentti and Gastón Gaudio—and in the third year, he won the title by beating the Czech Tomas Berdych in the final. He will return again to the Nordic stage, in a choice that has also been adopted by the number one, the Italian Jannik Sinner, or the Russian Andrey Rublev (6th) and the Norwegian Casper Ruud (7th).

On Wednesday, at the facilities of the Royal Tennis Club of Barcelona (RCTB), the national coach, David Ferrer, announced the presence of Nadal on the list of those chosen for the Olympic event. And if nothing goes wrong, the champion of 22 majors will compete in both individual and doubles; In the latter case, he is accompanied by Carlos Alcaraz from Murcia, a recent Roland Garros champion.

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