At Roland Garros 2021, the third career defeat for Rafael Nadal on Parisian clay came. The Spanish phenomenon, who had done everything possible to win his 21st Grand Slam, had to surrender in the semifinals to eternal rival Novak Djokovic.
After winning the first set, the 34-year-old from Manacor was the victim of a physical decline, which allowed the number 1 in the world to overturn the inertia of the challenge and win a comeback. Before the second Slam of the season, Rafa had participated in four events on red and won two (Barcelona and Rome, both with match points canceled along the way).
Already in a press conference after his elimination at the French Open, the Iberian had questioned his presence at Wimbledon. The official announcement arrived on Thursday afternoon. Through a press release on social media, the Majorcan announced that he will not take part in either the Championships or the Tokyo Olympics.
Nadal will therefore enjoy a couple of months off, with the intention of recharging his batteries in view of the swing on American hard court. With Roger Federer far from top form, Wimbledon looms as a golden opportunity for the Next Gen.
Mardy Fish on Nadal’s withdrawal from Wimbledon
Talking about Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from Wimbledon and Olympics, former world number seven Mardy Fish felt that the bubble restrictions are what driving some players to opt out of tournaments.
“Hate this for Rafa. These players are tired of bubbles, reduced prize money, tournaments moving schedules(French Open)…Wimbledon has most strict bubble this year and British Open won’t have a bubble? Hmm Just talkin out loud…”, tweeted Fish.
Rafael Nadal recently took to Twitter to reveal that he is pulling out from the upcoming Wimbledon Championships and Tokyo Olympics. Nadal cited the need to "listen to his body" after a rigorous claycourt season as the reason behind his withdrawal.
"Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Nadal wrote. "It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.
The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at he maximum level of competition," he added.
Rafael Nadal pointed out how the small gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon - just two weeks - played a role in his decision.