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Tennis champ Rafael Nadal skipping Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics to 'recover'

By
Kyle Barnett
Rafael Nadal of Spain is seen during his quarterfinal match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on June 9 at the French Open in Paris, France. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE
Rafael Nadal of Spain is seen during his quarterfinal match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on June 9 at the French Open in Paris, France. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE

June 17 (UPI) -- World No. 3 and two-time Olympic gold medalist tennis champion Rafael Nadal announced Thursday that he will not play at Wimbledon this month or the Summer Games in Tokyo next month.

Nadal said in a series of tweets that he's "listening to his body" in order to "continue my career and continue to do what makes me happy."

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion said his body needs more time to recover. Nadal, 35, advanced last week to the semifinals of the French Open, where he has been dominant over his career, but was defeated in four sets by eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

"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," he wrote in a tweet.

"The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between [the French Open] and Wimbledon didn't make it easier on my body to recuperate."

Nadal has missed the Wimbledon Championships, tennis' most prestigious event, only three times before, in 2005, 2009 and 2016. He won the tournament in 2010 and 2008, the latter of which only came after almost 5 hours of play and two rain delays in the final.

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As part of the Spanish national team, Nadal won gold in men's singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and gold in men's doubles at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Notable Olympians returning to Summer Games

Simone Biles stands on the floor after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Olympic Arena of the Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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