Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon Championships

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rafael Nadal at the 2009 Australian Open

Rafael Nadal, the 2008 Men's Singles winner at the Wimbledon Championships, announced today his withdrawal from the 2009 Championships because of a knee injury caused by his tendinitis. The formal announcement came after he had played the second of his warm-up matches.

I am picking Andy Murray or Roger Federer

—Björn Borg

On Thursday, whilst playing Lleyton Hewitt, Nadal had experienced issues with moving about the court. Again, whilst playing Stanislas Wawrinka today, he had problems and lost the match.

He will be the first champion to not defend his Wimbledon championship since Goran Ivanišević pulled out in 2002.

As a result, fifth seed Juan Martín del Potro takes Nadal's place in the first quarter of the draw, seventeenth seed James Blake takes del Potro's place in the fifth quarter, Nicolas Kiefer becomes the thirty-third seed and takes Blake's place in the fourth quarter, with his own previous spot now filled by lucky loser Thiago Alves.

Björn Borg was quoted on Tuesday (June 16) as saying "Nadal is always a dangerous player because he is the best in the world — but what happened in Paris and then the injury, I am picking Andy Murray or Roger Federer. […] For Nadal to win five in a row (at the French Open) was a big goal this year. I am sure he was very, very disappointed when he went home after Paris. That defeat took him many, many days to get over. Nadal is saying he has got an injury, but he has to be fit at Wimbledon if he wants to go all the way, and I do not think he will go all the way this year."