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Nadal, Osaka withdraw from Wimbledonv

Nadal, Osaka withdraw from Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka, with 24 Grand Slam titles between them, both withdrew from Wimbledon on Thursday (Jun 17) with the Spanish star also pulling out of the Tokyo Olympics in a bid “to prolong my career”.

Nadal’s snub of the Olympics was later followed by world No 5 Dominic Thiem also withdrawing from Tokyo.

Osaka, however, said she still intended to take part in her home Olympics.

The 35-year-old Nadal, who won Olympic gold and Wimbledon in 2008, triumphing again at the All England Club two years later, revealed his decision on Twitter.

“I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he tweeted.

“It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss(ing) it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.”

World No 1 Novak Djokovic last week ended Nadal’s four-year reign as French Open champion and went on to seal his 19th Grand Slam.

“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,” said Nadal.

The former world No 1 said the shorter break between the French Open and Wimbledon this year – Roland Garros was pushed back by a week – had influenced his decision.

Nadal is a double Olympic champion, having won gold in singles in Beijing in 2008 and in doubles with Marc Lopez in Rio in 2016, when he also carried Spain’s flag in the opening ceremony.

‘TAKING PERSONAL TIME’

Japanese star Osaka also pulled the plug on the All England Club, just two weeks after withdrawing from the French Open citing her struggle with depression and anxiety.

“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” Osaka’s agent Stuart Duguid said in an email to AFP. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family.

“She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”

Osaka has been in the spotlight since withdrawing from the French Open.

She was fined US$15,000 and threatened with disqualification from Roland Garros after she refused to honour mandatory media commitments.

Osaka lost in the third round of Wimbledon in 2017 and 2018 and bowed out in the first round in 2019. Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to coronavirus.

US Open champion Thiem said he wanted to concentrate on Wimbledon and then on defending his only Grand Slam title in New York later this summer.

“After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.

Source: CNA

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