Just one month before the opening ceremony, tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem announced that they would not compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The global sports festival runs from 23rd July to 8th August 2021.
Rafael Nadal had a wonderful clay-court season this year. The 35-year-old Spaniard clinched the Barcelona Open and Italian Open title and reached the semifinal at the French Open.
After several hours of marathon rallies on the red dirt and extending his career, Nadal felt he must rest his body to replenish energy. As a result, the 20-time Grand Slam Champion has decided to skip Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympic Games this year.
“I have decided not to participate in this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s never an easy decision to make, but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team, I understand it is the right decision,” Nadal wrote on Twitter.
“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.”
“The Olympic Games Always Meant A Lot”, says Rafael Nadal
Nadal won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, while he claimed the singles Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the doubles Gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“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 Sportsperson. I found the spirit that every sportsperson in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live with three of them and had the honour to be the flag bearer for my country,” Spaniard added.
Representing My Country In the Olympic Game Is A Huge Honour, says Dominic Thiem
On the other hand, Dominic Thiem has had a dry season. His early exits are continuing so far. Most notably, Austrian fell in the first round of the French Open. However, he must find his rhythm before the US Open. For this reason, he has decided to snub the Tokyo Olympic games.
“After talking with my team and analysing the situation, I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics”, Thiem noted on his Twitter post.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour, and that makes this decision even tougher. Unfortunately, however, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.”
At Wimbledon, Dominic Thiem reached the fourth round in 2017, which is his best performance in SW19 so far. After a couple of years of hiatus, the championship will begin on 28th June in London.
Austrian continued, “These last two weeks, I have been training hard – and I’m starting to improve my conditioning and concentration little by little. My goal is to work hard in the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”
“I wish the entire Austrian team is travelling to Tokyo all the best. I am young, and I hope to be able to play for Austria at the Olympics in Paris 2024.”
Ahead of Wimbledon 2021, Dominic Thiem will compete at the Mallorca Championships in Spain.