Rafa Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics

Spaniard makes decision to 'prolong career'

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 13, 2016 Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro during their men's singles semi-final tennis match at the Olympic Tennis Centre of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Rafael Nadal has announced, June 17, he will not be playing at Wimbledon or the Olympic Games this year. - XGTY
 / AFP / Luis Acosta / XGTY
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Rafael Nadal has announced he will not be playing at Wimbledon or the Olympic Games this summer.

The 35-year-old, who won the last of his two titles at the All England Club in 2010, revealed the news on his Twitter feed.

He wrote: "Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year's Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"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."

Nadal has always found the transition from clay to grass tough on his body and, with only two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon this year, there is less time to adjust.

The Spaniard continued: "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 the maximum level of competition.

"The fact that there has only been two weeks between RG and Wimbledon, didn't make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season.

"They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term."

Nadal is a double Olympic champion having won gold in singles in Beijing in 2008 and in doubles with Marc Lopez in Rio in 2016, when he also carried Spain's flag in the opening ceremony.

"Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles," continued Nadal.

"I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular.

"The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live three of them and had the honour to be the flag bearer for my country."

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