All sorts of reactions are beginning to pour in from the tennis world after Rafa Nadal revealed that he is unavailable for the Wimbledon and Olympic Games.
The 134th edition of Wimbledon is set to kick off on June 28 and conclude on July 11.
Rafael Nadal’s decision to withdraw from the competition is no surprise since 2021 has been a hard year for the tennis veteran. He last withdrew from Wimbledon in 2016.
Explaining his decision to pull out of the major competitions, Nadal said that he wants to prolong his career and made the decision after “listening to the body”.
The Spaniard has been struggling with minor injuries and form slump ever since the Australian Open where Stefano Tsitsipas knocked him out of the tournament in the quarter-finals. Nadal has played six tournaments so far this year.
With one of the Big 3 out of the star-studded tournament, Andrey Rublev believes this will help him improve his ranking.
“Of course, for the players like me, with Rafael Nadal not playing, it is a big advantage as I am going to be a higher seed now. There are so many guys that are really tough to play on grass,” the Russian star said.
“For example, imagine having Struff in the first round of Wimbledon or Nick Kyrigos. On grass, it is so tough to play players who serve well so who knows. I have adapted to the grass, but there are so many things I can still improve.”
On the other hand, Andy Murray feels that Nadal’s decision to not participate in Wimbledon is a major blow for him and the organizers.
Nonetheless, he understands how tough it has been for Nadal and other tennis pros to compete regularly.
Former World No. 1 said: “It’s a shame for Rafael Nadal and both tournaments he is missing. We have to understand that the year is still challenging, with bubbles and everything; you need to be right into it and be prepared to go through that, which many players find difficult. Some competitors have been playing for the entire clay season, and it’s not easy to endure both Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, physically and mentally.”
He doubted if Nadal has developed any physical issues due to continuous outings on the pitch in the past few months.
“[Nadal] obviously looked like he had some problems at the end of the match with Novak potentially. Over in the States, it’s looking like we will be playing in front of a packed crowd, and maybe the bubbles and stuff will not be as strict. I’m sure more of the players will be more committed to entering more tournaments,” Murray added.
On the other hand, reigning Wimbledon champ and current World No. 1, Novak Djokovic is poised to defend the prestigious title.
After winning French Open a few weeks ago, the Serb said: “I have put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam. Everything is possible. I’ve achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve