A few days after the semi-final elimination at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal announced his decision to miss both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. Thanks also to the shorter week that divides the French Open from the third Slam of the season, the Spanish champion opted for a break with the intention of recharging his batteries.
The former world number 1 played a total of 22 games during the clay swing, which began in April and ended just over a week ago. In this time frame, the 34-year-old from Manacor has forfeited two trophies, Barcelona and Rome respectively, nullifying match points along the way in both cases.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will try to regenerate ahead of the second half of the season, with the US Open inevitably at the top of his list of goals. Speaking on the 'Tablero Deporte' program on RTVE, his coach Carlos Moya highlighted how Rafa absolutely needed a rest after giving his all in the last few weeks.
Carlos Moya opens up on Rafael Nadal
"The clay court tour was very tough, with a lot of physical and mental pressure," Carlos Moya said. "Rafa finished exhausted. Rafael Nadal is going to take a well-deserved rest, this is a marathon, a long-distance race in which hard decisions have to be made and he has considered that the best thing is to stop to come back full of strength.
Rafa two years ago reached a point of great mental fatigue that was very difficult to get out of and now he has indicated that he was close to that again," added Moya. "He cannot afford (to play in) a Grand Slam if he is not at 100%."
The 44-year-old also declared that the COVID-19 quarantine requirements was one of the reasons behind Rafael Nadal's move to pull out. "The defeat has not affected as much as the fact that there is a week less than usual to prepare for Wimbledon, as well as the context in which we are with the pandemic," he said.
"It is difficult on a mental level to face the confinements prior to a great match, to play with little public, etc. This affects Rafa, he is a person who has a great connection with people and it was hard to go to London with a quarantine in between."
The Wimbledon Championships is one of the most prestigious sporting events that take place during the calendar year. The various traditions followed at the club during the fortnight add to its reputation and charm. The event is, of course, attended by fans from every corner of the globe and also notable personalities from various different spheres of life.
Last year, the Wimbledon Championships were canceled due to the effects of the global pandemic. It was the first time the tournament was called off since World War 2.