The 35-year-old said in the statement he has not found the decision easy.
“Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he posted on Twitter.
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“It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.
“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 he maximum level of competition.”
Nadal is yet to say when he intends to return to the ATP Tour with the US Open beginning at the end of August.
He said the decision from tournament organisers to delay the French Open — to allow more spectators to attend as part of the local Paris Covid-19 restrictions — directly resulted in his decision to take a break, citing the two-week turnaround between Roland Garros and Wimbledon as one of the reasons the decision was forced on him.
He had been chasing a record 14th Roland Garros crown and an unprecedented 21st grand slam title.
His withdrawal from Wimbledon further opens the door for Roger Federer to win a 21st slam, or for Djokovic to join them on 20 career grand slam victories. Wimbledon begins on June 28.
He admitted after his loss to Djokovic earlier this month that he was going to spend some time with his family before deciding on his immediate future.
“I am sad to have lost in the most important tournament of the year for me, but life goes on, it is nothing more than a defeat on a tennis court,” he said.
“If everything goes well, tomorrow I will be at home with my family and friends, and then we will see what is next.”
His statement on Thursday confirmed his body simply needs some rest — even at the expense of the Olympics, beginning July 23.
“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,” he said.
“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.”