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Rafael Nadal to miss Wimbledon because of wrist injury

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LONDON —¬†Rafael Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon on Thursday, citing the left wrist injury that forced him out of the French Open.

The two-time Wimbledon champion said on his Facebook page that he made the decision after consulting with his doctor and receiving his latest medical results.

“I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon this year,” the fourth-ranked Spaniard said. “As you can all imagine, it’s a very tough decision, but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal.”

Nadal had already pulled out of next week’s Wimbledon grass-court warm-up at Queen’s Club. Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the year, starts on June 27.

Nadal’s spokesman, Benito Perez-Barbadillo, said the player’s wrist will be in a cast for another two weeks. After that, Nadal will begin anti-inflammatory treatments and physiotherapy.

Wearing a brace on his wrist, Nadal pulled out of the French Open before his third-round match in Paris. He said then that he expected to be ready for Wimbledon.

Nadal, winner of 14 Grand Slam titles, won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010. He was unable to defend his title in 2009 after withdrawing with a knee injury. He was runner-up in 2006, 2007 and 2011.

Nadal has only once made it as far as the fourth round since 2011, including a first-round loss in 2013, along with second-round exits in 2012 and last year.

It’s unclear whether Nadal will be able to play at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August. He has been chosen as Spain’s flag carrier for the opening ceremony. Nadal missed the 2012 London Olympics because of an injury.

The Wimbledon referee’s office confirmed Nadal’s withdrawal. He will be replaced in the main draw by another Spaniard, Albert Montanes.

Wimbledon also announced withdrawals of Spain’s Tommy Robredo (elbow) and Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis (shoulder). They will be replaced by Portugal’s Gastao Elias and Facundo Bagnis of Argentina.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”

Kuznetsova out of Australian Open after left wrist surgery

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.

Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.

Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.

Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.