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By Richard Pagliaro | @TennisNow | Thursday, June 13, 2024


Two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon in order to prepare for his quest to capture a third gold medal at the Paris Olympics.

Photo credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport

Rafael Nadal is stepping out of Wimbledon to train for his red-clay return at the Paris Olympics.

The two-time Wimbledon champion announced his withdrawal from The Championships so he can continue competing and training on red clay in preparation for next month's Paris Olympics at Roland Garros.

Watch: Federer's Dartmouth Commencement Speech Goes Viral 

"It was announced that I will play in the summer Olympic in Paris, my last Olympics," Nadal said. "With this goal, we believe that the best thing for my body is not to change surfaces and to keep playing on clay until then. It's for this reason that I will miss playing The Championships this year at Wimbledon."

In Nadal's last Wimbledon appearance, he edged Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the 2022 Wimbledon semifinals. Nadal was forced to withdraw from the semifinals due to injury giving Nick Kyrgios a walkover into the final.

Fourteen-time Roland Garros champion Nadal, who lost to Olympic gold-medal champion Alexander Zverev in the French Open first round, announced he will play Bastad, July 15-21st, in preparation for the Paris Olympic tennis event.

Wimbledon is set for July 1-14th.

I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that incredible event that will always be in my heart and to be with all the British fans who always gave me great support," Nadal said. "I will miss you all."

King of clay Nadal will partner reigning Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz in a Spanish Olympic Dream Team that will be one of the hottest tickets at the Paris Games.

Two-time Olympic gold-medal champion Nadal captured the singles gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games defeating Lleyton Hewitt, Igor Andreev, Jurgen Melzer, Novak Djokovic and Chilean Fernando Gonzalez in the gold-medal match.

Eight years later, Nadal and good buddy Marc Lopez won the doubles gold at the Rio Olympics stopping Canadians Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil in the semifinals before knocking off Romania's Florin Mergea Horia Tecau in the gold-medal match.

An Alcaraz-Nadal pairing will be the most compelling Olympic men's doubles duo since Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka partnered to claim the 2008 Olympic doubles gold medal. The Swiss squad had planned a reunion Dream Team pairing of Federer and former Hopman Cup partner Martina Hingis at the 2016 Games, but that Dream Team did not compete due to injury.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Alcaraz reiterated his main aim for the season: Win an Olympic gold medal.

"Grand Slam tournaments and Masters 1000 [events] are the priorities, but representing your country at the Games is a dream, so winning the gold medal at the Paris Games would be extraordinary and is my main goal for 2024," Alcaraz told Le Figaro.


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