Wimbledon 2021 has kicked off this week and the big names of tennis are playing at the All England Club. Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Asleigh Barty and more, all have made their debut at the third Grand Slam of the year. However, one of the fan favorites and best players won’t be seen in London: Rafael Nadal.
The Spanish, winner of 20 Grand Slams, just played Roland Garros a few weeks ago and failed at the semifinals against Novak Djokovic. It was the third time in Nadal's career that somebody beat him on clay in Paris. Djokovic went on and lifted the trophy, after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, to earn his 19th major and put more pressure on Nadal and Roger Federer, who also has 20 Slams.
With the career for the Slams really tight and after that tough loss, everyone was wondering if Nadal would play at Wimbledon. The Spanish have only won twice there, as grass is not his favorite surface. And being 35 years old and with a long history with injuries, the Spanish finally decided not to compete in London. Here, check out the reasons for Nadal to withdraw from the Championships.
Wimbledon 2021: Why is Nadal not playing at the Championships?
Rafael Nadal explained in a series of tweets two weeks ago that he decided to not participate in Wimbledon 2021 and the Olympic Games. The Spanish explained that he took the decision with his team and that his goal was to “prolong” his career as much as possible.
Nadal also said that the 2 weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon weren’t enough for him to recuperate after the clay season that he played in its entirety. “They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused on looking at the mid and long term”, he wrote on Twitter.
The transition between clay and grass isn’t easy, as the first surface is slower. Also, Nadal said that right now he needs to prevent every tension on his body, especially “at this time” of his career. Without playing Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, Nadal will have plenty of time to rest ahead of the US Open, which starts in September.