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Rafael Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Olympics: 'The goal is to prolong my career'

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After a punishing French Open, Rafael Nadal is listening to his body and soul, and letting them dictate his schedule for the next few months. 

Nadal tweeted on Thursday that he's decided to withdraw from Wimbledon, which begins at the end of June, and the Olympics, which start on July 23. He said that his goal is to prolong his career, but also to do what makes him happy. 

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"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," Nadal wrote in subsequent tweets. "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. They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term. Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.

"I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular. The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country."

Nadal's announcement comes on the heels of his stunning loss at the French Open. The King of Clay has won 13 trophies at Roland-Garros, but this year he was unable to to get past Novak Djokovic in the semifinal. Prior to the French Open, Nadal played at the Monte Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open, Madrid Masters, and Rome Masters, all of which are clay court tournaments. 

Nadal, 35, was the Wimbledon champion in 2008 and 2010. He's also won Olympic gold in 2008 in singles and 2016 in doubles. 

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Rafael Nadal of Spain salutes the fans while leaving the court after his semi-final defeat againt Novak Djokovic of Serbia during day 13 of the French Open 2021, Roland-Garros 2021, Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium on June 11, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal won't play in Wimbledon or the Olympics after a punishing clay court season and a tough loss to Novak Djokovic at the French Open. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

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