LONDON (Reuters) – Twice former champion Rafael Nadal will not play at this year’s Wimbledon due to the wrist injury that forced the Spaniard out of the French Open, he said on Thursday.
“I’m sad to announce that after talking to my doctors, and receiving the results of my last medical revision, I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon this year,” Nadal said on his Facebook page.
“As you can all imagine, it’s a very tough decision, but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal.”
Nadal’s withdrawal is a blow for the championships at which the Spaniard has been such an attraction for more than a decade, especially with his victories in 2008 and 2010.
He also had to pull out before the 2009 edition of Wimbledon with a knee injury when he was defending champion, citing that as “one of the toughest decisions of my career.”
Nadal was also badly missed at the last fortnight’s French Open after pain in his left wrist flared up and he was forced to withdraw following a landmark 200th grand slam win over Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis in the second round.
The Spaniard had needed an injection before that match and broke the news the following day to reporters that he would be forced to abandon his assault on a 10th Roland Garros title.
Wearing an arm brace and appearing close to tears, the 14-times grand slam winner had said in Paris that the press conference was the hardest he had ever given.
He explained that he risked further serious injury – and a likely tear of his wrist tendons – if he continued to play.
The 30-year-old’s career has been littered with injuries, particularly to his knees. He also missed the U.S. Open in 2014 with a problem with his right wrist and has suffered from back and hamstring problems as well as appendicitis.
Nadal, who had already pulled out of next week’s grass-court warm-up at Queen’s Club, added on Facebook that he would also miss two more of his usual pre-Wimbledon events.
“Thank you all for your support, especially my fans. Your kind messages mean so much to me,” he added.
(Writing by Ian Chadband, Editing by Toby Davis and Clare Lovell)