On Sunday, Novak Djokovic won the career Grand Slam, became the first man in nearly 50 years to hold all four majors and seemed to be setting tennis on a beautiful course for a packed summer that includes Wimbledon, the Olympics, U.S. Open and the first run at a men's Grand Slam in 24 years. And then the hangover came.
One day after Maria Sharapova's two-year suspension for using a performance-enhancing drug was announced, Rafael Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon with the same wrist injury that forced his surprise withdrawal from the French Open prior to his third-round match.
Nadal, who wore a blue air cast during his presser in Paris, made the announcement on Facebook, saying his doctors had informed him the wrist wouldn't be ready in time. The Spaniard will reportedly remain in his cast for two more weeks before beginning rehab. Recent pictures of him in Ibiza showed he's still wearing it.
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Like Roger Federer pulling out of the French Open with his injury, Nadal getting out of Wimbledon is a no-brainer, both for the risk of exacerbating his injury and because he's had such poor results at the All England Club in recent years. Why push it to return to a tournament where you've had little recent success? (In his last four starts at Wimbledon, Nadal has lost in the 2R, 4R, 1R and 2R.)
Bigger on Nadal's calendar are the upcoming Rio Olympics and the U.S. Open later in August, where he'll be a contender if healthy. Not that playing on a hard court has been a panacea for the struggling former No. 1. In his last three major starts on the surface, Nadal was ousted in the QF, 3R and 1R.
The Olympics would be particularly big for Nadal, as he was forced to skip the London Olympics with another injury, thus failing to defend the gold medal he won in Beijing.