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Rafael Nadal ‘saddened’ to miss Wimbledon as he focuses on Paris Olympics

The Spaniard does not want to risk injury by changing surfaces from clay to grass.

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Rafael Nadal said he was “saddened” to miss Wimbledon after opting to prioritise preparing for the Olympics in Paris.

The two-time former champion strongly hinted after his first-round French Open defeat that he would stay on clay rather than risk the physical demands of changing to grass and back again.

That was all but confirmed by Spanish Olympic team captain David Ferrer on Wednesday, and Nadal himself took to social media on Thursday to explain his decision.

“During my post-match press conference at Roland Garros I was asked about my summer calendar and since then I have been practising on clay,” said the 38-year-old.

“It was announced yesterday that I will play at the summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics. With this goal, we believe that the best for my body is not to change surface and keep playing on clay until then.

“It’s for this reason that I will miss playing at the Championships this year at Wimbledon. I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that amazing event that will always be in my heart, and be with all the British fans that always gave me great support. I will miss you all.”

With Nadal set to retire at some point this season, it appears his final match at Wimbledon will have been a quarter-final victory over Taylor Fritz in 2022, following which he withdrew through injury.

The Spaniard will instead play on clay at the Nordea Open in Bastad, Sweden beginning the day after Wimbledon on July 15.

As well as a tilt at a second Olympic gold medal in singles at Roland Garros, Nadal will also team up with Carlos Alcaraz in the men’s doubles.

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