Tennis-Spain's Nadal to skip Wimbledon to prepare for Olympics

  • Tennis
  • Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Tennis - Rafael Nadal Press Conference - Rafa Nadal Academy, Mallorca, Spain - May 18, 2023 Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during a press conference after announcing that he has withdrawn from the French open REUTERS/Miquel Borras/ File Photo

(Reuters) -Rafa Nadal will skip Wimbledon in July in order to prepare for the Olympic Games in Paris which will be played on the clay courts at Roland Garros, the Spaniard said on Thursday.

Nadal, a record 14-times winner of the French Open, has been far from his best after returning from injuries and he exited the tournament at Roland Garros in the first round this year, losing in straight sets to eventual runner-up Alexander Zverev.

The 38-year-old missed almost all of 2023 with a hip problem and his comeback earlier this year was stalled by a muscle tear, before small niggles affected his preparation for the claycourt major.

"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. It was announced yesterday that I will play at the summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics," Nadal said.

"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 an Olympic singles gold medal in 2008 and a doubles gold in 2016, will team up with newly-crowned French Open champion Carlos Alcaraz to play in the doubles at the Olympics.

A twice-champion at Wimbledon, Nadal said he would continue his preparations for the Olympics by playing in the ATP 250 claycourt event in Bastad, Sweden that will be played from July 15.

The Paris Olympics run from July 26-Aug. 11.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra and Toby Davis)

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