It won’t take Lucas Rosol, Steve Darcis, Nick Kyrgios, or Dustin Brown to take Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon this season. The Spaniard recently announced that he won’t be participating in the tournament at all due to a wrist injury. A couple weeks ago the same injury prevented him from contesting a third-round match at the 2016 French Open.
The Spaniard made his announcement via Facebook:
“I’m sad to announce that after talking to my doctors, and receiving the results of my last medical revision, I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon this year. As you can all imagine, it’s a very tough decision, but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal.”
The withdrawal will have an effect on seeding at the upcoming grass-court Grand Slam. Nadal is currently the World No. 4 meaning that everyone that is ranked below him will gain a spot when it comes to seeding for the All England Club.
However, Nadal missing the tournament won’t really directly affect his ranking in a significant way. Last year he only made the 2nd round, and thus, he’ll only lose 45 ranking points for not playing this season. That’s not a large sum of points for players within the Top 10 on tour.
That said, Nadal will lose some other ranking points in the short term. Specifically, 250 ranking points from Stuttgart 2015 are going to fall by the way next week. He also has 500 ranking points to defend in Hamburg this season for winning the title their last season. The drop date for those ranking points is August 1st, so if he’s not playing well by then, he could slide down a tad. The good news for him is that big results from Madrid, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, and the ATP World Tour Finals are well into the future when it comes to having to protect the points.
The length of time that Nadal will miss isn’t clear, but it certainly does not look great for him. The two French Open matches that he contested before withdrawing from the event were not exhausting ones. It strikes me as strange that they would cause or aggravate such an injury.
If Nadal can’t take six routine sets of tennis without needing weeks and weeks off, then it really does look like his days as a contender for Grand Slams are over. Furthermore, you have to wonder if he’ll be pushed into retirement sooner than later due to his injuries. One of these times when he takes time off to recover, he’s bound to return as a mere shadow of his former self.
Currently, the top picks to win Wimbledon are Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Roger Federer. Nadal was the 3rd or 4th favorite, depending on the source. However, Milos Raonic is now entering the picture as the 4th favorite behind the former recent champions (source: bet365). The hard-serving Canadian recently joined forces with John McEnroe with implications that would be good for success at the All England Club as the American is a former multi-time champion there.