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Defending champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from The Championships at Wimbledon after failing to overcome knee tendinitis, which has prevented the Spaniard from playing since his fourth round loss to Robin Soderling at the French Open.
Nadal made the announcement after losing to Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6, 7-6(6), 10-3 in a grass court exhibition at Hurlingham Club.
“Unfortunately this year I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon,” admitted Nadal. “To not play Wimbledon is one of the toughest decisions of my career. I’ve played with some problems with my knees for some months.
“I don’t feel like I’m ready to play in a tournament that is as important as Wimbledon. I tried everything. I tried hard in the last week to get in the best condition and today was my last test.
“I have some time now to recover and will work very hard to return as soon as possible.”
The 23 year-old Nadal joins John Newcombe, Stan Smith and Goran Ivanisevic as the only players not to defend their title.