On Friday, Rafael Nadal received a walkover to his 14th Roland Garros finals after Alexander Zverev suffered from a painful ankle injury during the second set. Nadal won the first set on a tiebreaker, and the match was 6-6 in the second set when the German player sustained an ankle injury, ruling him out. Rafa will now play the finals on Sunday to win his 14th French Open title in Paris against Casper Ruud.
Following a walkover in the semifinals, the Spaniard announced that he would not be a part of this year’s Wimbledon tournament. Nadal has not played at the All-England tennis club since 2019 and has won only two titles Grand Slams in 2008 & 2010. With Wimbledon scheduled in just three weeks’ time on June 27, the 36-year-old has decided to take some off after the finals on Sunday.
Earlier, Wimbledon banned the participation of Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament after Russia attacked Ukraine. The ATP was not happy about the All-England club’s decision and eventually chose to pull out the ranking points from this year’s tournament. Nadal was among the tennis stars who took a stand against Wimbledon’s decision. He commented that it was unfair to his Russian tennis colleagues who had no involvement in the war.
Rafa’s decision to miss out on Wimbledon would have come due to the ATP’s decision and his chronic left foot injury, which resurfaced just before the start of the French Open during the Italian Open. However, Nadal seemed to be in no trouble against his quarterfinal victory against world no. 1 Novak Djokovic and fourth round win over Felix Auger-Aliassime. However, the 21-time Grand Slam winner still plans to take some time off as he has already won the Australian Open earlier this year and is set to win at the French Open.
Who Else Will Miss Wimbledon This Year?
Following the Wimbledon ban, world no. 2 Daniil Medvedev, no. 7 Andrey Rublev, and no. 15 Karen Khachanov will miss out on this year’s tournament. Moreover, the world no. 3 Zverev left the tennis court in a wheelchair and returned on crutched. Thus, the German tennis star’s chances of playing again at the end of the month look bleak for now. So, he might miss out on the major tournament too.
Roger Federer’s agent also recently announced that he would miss out on Wimbledon this year. The Swiss maestro has won eight out of his 20 Grand Slams in Wimbledon. Thus, the representative revealed that Federer hopes to return to his favorite event in 2023. The top tennis stars like Nadal, Federer, and Medvedev are already out. Thus, Djokovic will be the favorite to win this season at the All-England club. The Serb will look to win his 21st Grand Slam title later in June to keep up with Rafa. The Spaniard has 21 titles and is on his way to winning one more on Sunday.