Nadal skips Queen's event to recover for Wimbledon

LONDON • Rafael Nadal confirmed on Tuesday that he has pulled out of next week's Aegon Championships at Queen's in order to rest and prepare for Wimbledon.

The 31-year-old Spaniard has had a dominant claycourt season, claiming a record 10th French Open crown on Sunday to earn his 15th Grand Slam title.

"I am very sorry to say that I am not going to be able play Queen's next week," the world No. 2 said on his Facebook page.

"I am sad to make this decision because I love Queen's, I won the tournament in 2008, and every time I reached the Wimbledon final, it was after playing Queen's.

"I was hoping to take some days off and then be ready, but at 31, and after a long clay-court season with all of the emotions of Roland Garros, and after speaking to my team and doctors, I have decided my body needs to rest if I am going to be ready to play Wimbledon.

"Sorry to all the great fans in Britain and to the tournament organisers. I hope to see you at Queen's next year."

Nadal won clay titles this season in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid in addition to Roland Garros.

He won Queen's in 2008 before going on to lift his first Wimbledon title, and again in 2010, when he clinched his second title at the All England Club. Wimbledon begins on July 3.

Rafael Nadal attending a graduation ceremony of pupils of the American International School of Mallorca in his tennis academy on Tuesday. The Spaniard had clinched his 10th French Open title on Sunday.
Rafael Nadal attending a graduation ceremony of pupils of the American International School of Mallorca in his tennis academy on Tuesday. The Spaniard had clinched his 10th French Open title on Sunday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

"Unfortunately, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Aegon Championships at Queen's," organisers confirmed on Twitter.

The integrity of Queen's remains intact however, with world No. 1 Andy Murray committed to defending his title.

Stan Wawrinka, the reigning US Open champion, the 2014 winner Grigor Dimitrov, and last year's runner-up Milos Raonic will join Juan Martin del Potro, Nick Kyrgios, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych in a quality field.

Roger Federer, meanwhile, returns from a 10-week break during the claycourt season in Europe refreshed for Wimbledon, and told the ATP on Tuesday he was committed to a full schedule for the rest of the season.

"I've had enough breaks," he said.

"I'm a practice world champion now, but that's not who I want to be.

"I want to be a champion on the match courts, so I'm going to be playing a regular schedule for the second part of the season."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2017, with the headline 'Nadal skips Queen's event to recover for Wimbledon'. Print Edition | Subscribe