Rafael Nadal said Thursday he will not play in this year’s Wimbledon or at the Olympic Games.

In a series of tweets, the 20-time Grand Slam champion wrote that he was “listening to my body” in order to “prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy.”

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

— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) June 17, 2021
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.

— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) June 17, 2021
This will be the third time since 2005 that Nadal has not played at the All England Club. He also missed Wimbledon in 2009 and 2016.

Nadal, 35, cited the short timeline between the French Open and Wimbledon as part of his decision. Nadal, a 13-time champion at Roland Garros, was eliminated in the semifinals last Friday by Novak Djokovic. The main draw at Wimbledon begins June 28.


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“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,” Nadal wrote. “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 two-time Wimbledon champion, winning the title in 2008 and 2010, but has not made the final since 2011. He reached the semifinals in 2018 and 2019. The Grand Slam tournament was not played in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He won Olympic gold medals in singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and doubles at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Nadal hadn’t played much during the pandemic, with a 23-4 record this year. He won two titles, in Barcelona and Rome, and also played the Monte Carlo Masters and Madrid Masters ahead of the French Open.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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