Rafael Nadal could never play Wimbledon again

The Spaniard came back to training directly on the cay in view of the Paris Olympics: he may never play Wimbledon again in his career if he were to retire in 2024

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Rafael Nadal could never play Wimbledon again
© Pool / Team Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal has not yet officially decided but, at least unofficially, his alternating love story with Wimbledon may have come to an end. And the new video that sees him training on clay courts seems to be a testament to his participation in the Championships. After struggling against Alexander Zverev and leaving Roland Garros in the first round, Rafael Nadal had focused on the possibilities of taking part in the London Slam in a press conference. The Spaniard explained that the sudden transition from clay to grass could pose a danger to his body.

"Now it seems difficult to me to change surfaces and play on grass, then having the Olympics again on clay. So, at this moment, I think it's not a good idea, but I can't confirm it. My feeling is that, although being a member, I don't think it's a good idea to participate in Wimbledon," told the Spanish champion a few days ago at a press conference.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Nadal came back to training on clay courts, with the aim of reaching the Paris Olympic Games in the best possible physical condition. It will be necessary to understand, in the event that he confirms his no to Wimbledon, whether or not he will take part in one of the tournaments preceding the Olympic tournament. In fact, there are two weeks that will offer events on clay, before the Olympic tournament. The Hamburg Open and the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad will take place from 15 to 21 July, while from 21 to 27 the Croatia Open Umag and the Generali Open will take place. The Olympic Games, however, will begin on July 27.

But the feeling, especially if the Spanish champion were to confirm that he will retire at the end of 2024, is that he will never play Wimbledon again. Never say never, obviously, especially with Nadal, who has not definitively closed the door on continuing his career in 2025. but even if it were, his priority in 2025 would once again be clay-swing and the Roland Garros.

At the press conference after the defeat in the first round in Paris against Zverev, Nadal reiterated his eternal love for tennis, underlining how he has not yet made an official decision on his future.

"I've been through some really bad times, my body has been a jungle the last few months where I couldn't see the light. I kept the discipline to give myself the opportunity to be here. I struggled tremendously with my problems. This was the first week I felt my body was ready to move without limitations, the first tournament I thought I had any chance of winning.
I'm very proud of what I've done and I don't think I've gotten far from giving myself real options to do something important. My match was positive, analyzing things in perspective. I made some mistakes, but you can't build a house in two days. I didn't take advantage of some opportunities that could have changed the game due to the lack of confidence that could show you the way at all times.

I'm a normal guy who likes to do what he does. I like sport, competition, training and matches. I enjoy traveling with my wife and son. As long as I feel competitive, I will continue to play. I have to see if my level will rise. 2025? If I continue to be happy day after day and my body responds well, I won't close any doors. Logic tells me it's very difficult, but time will provide me with the answers. When I have a decision, I will communicate it definitively. I hope to arrive at the Paris Olympics in good shape, but I will have the same problem: I will not be seeded and I will arrive without the match pace.
If I can arrive in better physical condition with an extra month of training under my belt, I will participate with the hope of having fun and having some opportunities. After that appointment, I will evaluate how I am doing and make decisions about the future,"
he explained.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

"It's not easy for me to talk. I don't know if this will be the last time, I'm not 100% sure, but if it were, I felt extraordinary feelings. It's really nice to receive all this love in the place I love the most. I want to congratulate Sasha on the match and the victory in Rome, I wish you the best for the rest of the tournament. I know 2022 has been a difficult year for you, so I wish you good luck for the future It's been a very difficult couple of years because of the injuries. It's always been my dream to play this tournament again a very good chance that I will never play this tournament again. The body feels better than it did two months ago. Maybe in two months I'll say I've had enough of tennis, but at the moment I have other goals. I want to play in the Olympics and I hope to arrive prepared and competitive at the event," added Rafa.

Rafael Nadal Wimbledon Olympics
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