Rafael Nadal announced Thursday morning that he will not participate at Wimbledon for the second straight year. While he slowly returns after several injuries in recent years, Nadal explained that he is choosing to focus on training for the 2024 Olympics.

The 38-year-old tennis star said that he has been training for several months on clay courts to prepare for Paris. Wimbledon is held on grass, however, putting Nadal in an unprepared situation for the Grand Slam event.

“I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that amazing event that will always be in my heart, and be with all the British fans that always gave me great support,” Nadal wrote in a post on X. “I will miss you all.”

Nadal won at Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, but the vast majority of his Grand Slam victories have come in the French Open on clay. He has won the event 14 times, most recently in 2022, demonstrating superior play well into his thirties. At a point in his life where he must preserve himself more, he clearly seems to prefer the idea of taking the time to prepare for his strongest surface.

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Last time the Olympics rolled around in 2021, Nadal suffered a foot injury and had to miss the event, as well as Wimbledon. In 2022, he suffered an abdominal tear on the grass and had to withdraw in the semifinals. In 2023, he missed even more time with a hip injury.

It’s unclear how effective Nadal will be in the Olympics coming off a trio of debilitating setbacks, but the experience has clearly taught him to prepare differently at this point in his career. He has already said that he plans to compete in a smaller clay tournament in Bastad, Sweden, in July as a prep for Paris.

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