For the first time in five years, the 20-time Major winner Rafael Nadal will not compete at the upcoming Wimbledon. Embracing five clay-court tournaments within two months, Nadal lost a lot of energy and didn’t have enough time to prepare for the All England Club. Also, the Spaniard will not seek the third Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, withdrawing from that event and setting eyes on the North American swing. Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya confirmed that Rafa should return in Toronto and play Cincinnati and the US Open. The Spaniard wants to throw everything at the season’s last Major, where he claimed two titles in the previous four years.
Rafa will take a couple of weeks off the court before starting his preparation for the North American swing, hoping to play at his best again after ups and downs during the clay season. Last year, Nadal didn’t travel to the USA for Cincinnati and the US Open, staying at home in Mallorca and looking eager to play in front of the American fans again in two months. Rafa is still ranked in the top-3 despite turning 35 15 days ago, winning two titles so far in 2021. The Spaniard made a slower start due to a back injury experienced in Adelaide in January, reaching the quarter-final at the Australian Open and losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas from two sets to love in front. Staying away from the court for almost two months, Nadal returned in Monte Carlo and experienced the quarter-final loss to Andrey Rublev in three sets, unable to match the Russian’s pace in the final set.
Rafael Nadal should play Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open this summer.
Battling against Tsitsipas again in Barcelona, Rafa saved a match point in a memorable final that lasted three hours and 38 minutes and lifted the first trophy since Roland Garros in October last year. Alexander Zverev ousted Nadal in Madrid before the Spaniard bounced back in Rome, fending off a match point against Denis Shapovalov and beating Novak Djokovic in the title clash for the 36th Masters 1000 crown. At Roland Garros, the 13-time champion suffered only the third defeat in Paris since making a debut in 2005. Rafa lost to Djokovic in the semis after four hours and 11 minutes of outstanding tennis, wasting too much energy and opting to skip Wimbledon and the Olympic Games to recharge batteries.
“US Open is a tournament that has been very good for Rafa historically; he really likes the atmosphere that lives there, and we hope it will be a tournament with almost no restrictions. The idea is to compete in Toronto and Cincinnati ahead of the US Open,” Carlos Moya said.