Injured Nadal withdraws from WimbledonJune 20th, 2009 - 2:08 am ICT by IANS
London, June 20 (DPA) Rafael Nadal became only the fourth Wimbledon champion to fail to defend his title as the Spaniard bowed to his injured knees and withdrew from the event Friday.
The not-unexpected announcement came after the world number one tested the joints bothered by tendinitis at an exhibition over the past two days in London.
He was beaten by both Lleyton Hewitt Thursday and lost to Stan Wawrinka only hours before the decision not to play.
“Unfortunately this year I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon,” said the man who seized the title from Roger Federer a year ago.
“I’m not 100 percent, I’m better than a few weeks ago, but I just don’t feel ready.
“The decision is that I’ll try to get ready for the next events. I’m not ready to approach a competition as important as this one.
“It’s very painful for me but I cannot play this year.”
Nadal said that tests showed he is suffering from fluid on both knees and will need an undetermined period of rest.
Nadal becomes the first since Goran Ivanisevic in 2002 not to defend his title.
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Tags: both knees, dpa, exhibition, goran ivanisevic, joints, lleyton hewitt, rafael nadal, roger federer, spaniard, stan, tendinitis, undetermined period, unexpected announcement, wawrinka, wimbledon, wimbledon champion, wimbledon london