Rafael Nadal set to miss Wimbledon: ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea’

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal is set to miss Wimbledon next month and may never play at the All England Club again as retirement looms.

The 37-year-old, who has won two Wimbledon titles amongst his collection of 22 grand slams, was beaten by Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the first round of the French Open.

Nadal insists he will compete at Roland Garros again as he targets the Paris Olympics in two months and, as a result, put his presence on the grass at Wimbledon into serious doubt.

Asked whether he thinks he will play on grass and at Wimbledon, he said: “[It] looks difficult, honestly. For me now, it looks difficult to make the transition to grass when we have the Olympics again on clay.

“I cannot confirm anything, I need to analyse so many facts. I don’t think it’s going to be smart after all the things that happen to my body, to make a transition to a completely different surface, then come back to clay.

“Today I don’t think that’s a good idea, I don’t think it’s a positive idea right now.”

Nadal has won Wimbledon twice, in 2008 and 2010, and last competed in SW19 in 2022 when he reached the semi-finals before being forced to withdraw from his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios due to injury.

The Spaniard was then absent from the rest of the 2022 season before the array of fitness issues which triggered his “farewell tour” announcement for this year. However, despite this, Nadal is unwilling to confirm his retirement date.

Nadal’s first Wimbledon triumph in 2008 was an all-time five-set classic, as he beat Roger Federer in fading light for his first major outside of Paris.

He had previously lost to Federer in two consecutive finals and the last time he lost a match he completed at Wimbledon was indeed to the now-retired Swiss legend, in 2019.