Rafael Nadal has been playing this game for decades and one thing is for certain—it's a marathon, not a sprint. While it would be great to see the Spaniard play each and every week of the 11-month-long season, it's not very practical. It's important for all players to listen to their bodies during the lengthy and grueling season and Nadal did just that by making the tough decision to skip the grass-court swing and the Olympics.

Following his Roland Garros semifinal loss to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, he decided it would be best to give his body a rest before gearing up for the hard-court swing. It's understandable given Nadal's gritty baseline play mixed with a fully packed clay-court schedule at the age of 35-years-old. Even the bodies of the greatest athletes need time to recoup and after reaching three out of five clay-court tournaments semifinal rounds, and winning his 12th Barcelona title this season—a break was overdue to say the least.

It's also important to note that during his semifinal clash with Djokovic, he suffered from a foot sore. Being the champion he is, Nadal didn't talk about this much during his post-match pressers.

"The clay-court swing was very tough, with a lot of physical and mental pressure. Rafa finished exhausted. He is going to take a well-deserved rest," Nadal's coach Carlos Moya told press following Roland Garros.


The 20-time major champion will return to action very soon at the Citi Open's ATP 500 event next month. This not only marks Nadal's debut at the hard-court event, but it's also the first time one of the "Big Three" members will vie for the tournament's title.

The event will kick off his US Open preparations and he will be up against solid competition with Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov and Hubert Hurkacz making up the Washington field.

“I am very excited to come to Washington for the first time,” Nadal told press. “I have never been there, and it’s one more place I wanted to come and play. I am looking forward to playing again, and Washington shall be the best start for the U.S. summer swing for me.”

The event will take place at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on August 2.