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Rafael Nadal opts out of Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics to prolong career

Rafael Nadal, the 20-time Grand Slam winner, on Thursday decided not to participate in the upcoming Wimbledon Championships, starting on June 28, and Tokyo Olympics, which is set to begin from July 23.

The 35-year-old announced his decision on Twitter.

“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,” said the two-time Wimbledon winner.

“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.”

Nadal made it to the semi-finals in the recently concluded French Open in Paris, losing to eventual winner Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 2-6 last week.

Earlier, he played at ATP events in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

“The fact that there has only been 2 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 has won two gold medals at the Olympics — a singles title in 2008 in Beijing and a doubles gold at Rio 2016, where he was the flag bearer for Spain.

“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,” Nadal said.

“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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