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Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon as "saddened" two-time champion confirms plans for Olympics swansong

© Reuters
Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal confirms that he will not compete at this year's Grand Slam event as he prioritises his Olympuc preparations.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he will miss this year's Grand Slam at SW19 as he prioritises his Paris 2024 Olympic preparations.

The 38-year-old - whose current season on the ATP Tour is expected to be his last - was recently confirmed to be competing with compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in the doubles at this year's Olympic Games.

The compatriot's partnership comes after Alcaraz triumphed in Nadal's beloved French Open with a five-set final triumph over Alexander Zverev, who had defeated the 22-time Grand Slam winner in the first round.

Prior to his opening defeat to Zverev, Nadal enjoyed his anticipated swansongs at the Madrid Open and Italian Open, reaching the last 16 of the former tournament before a swift second-round exit in Rome.

Since making his return from a three-month layoff in April, the 22-time major winner has competed solely on clay courts, and the Paris Games will also be played on the Spaniard's favoured surface.

As a result, Nadal announced on social media on Thursday that he would not be competing at this year's Wimbledon Championships, meaning that he has likely competed on the SW19 grass for the last time.

Rafael Nadal pictured at Wimbledon on June 28, 2022© Reuters

Nadal to compete in Sweden before Olympics farewell

However, the two-time Wimbledon winner - who triumphed on the grass in 2008 and 2010 - will be in action at the Swedish Open in Bastad, an ATP 250 clay-court tournament starting on July 15.

"During my post match press conference at Roland Garros I was asked about my summer calendar and since then I have been practicing on clay. It was announced yesterday that I will play at the summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics," Nadal wrote on X.

"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.

"In order to prepare for the Olympic Games, I will play the tournament in Bastad, Sweden. A tournament that I played earlier in my career and where I had a great time both on and off the court. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Thank you."

Nadal defeated Roger Federer in an epic five-set Wimbledon final in 2008 before prevailing again over Tomas Berdych in the 2010 edition, while he reached the 2022 semi-finals but pulled out of his clash against Nick Kyrgios with an abdominal injury.

Alcaraz and Marketa Vondrousova are the defending singles champions at Wimbledon, which runs from July 1 to July 14, before the Olympic tennis tournaments take place from July 27 to August 4.

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