Toughest decision ever, rues Nadal

 The Spaniard became only the fourth Wimbledon champion after Stan Smith, John Newcombe and Goran Ivanisevic in 2002 not to defend title at the All England Club.

“Not playing Wimbledon is one of the toughest decisions of my career,” said the man who seized the crown from Roger Federer a year ago, paving the way for a rise to the top ATP ranking. “This situation makes it a bit easier - there was no option.”

Bypassing last week’s elite grass tune-up at Queen’s club in order to receive treatment on his troubled and painful knees in Spain, Nadal arrived in London on Tuesday and immediately put in three hours on the practice court.

He lost an exhibition this week to Lleyton Hewitt and a few hours after going down to Stanislas Wawrinka, travelled to the All England Club to deliver the death blows to any hopes of a title repeat this year

“Wimbledon is very important for me. I tried everything and worked hard in the last weeks to arrive here in my best condition. Today was the last test and I didn’t feel terrible but didn’t feel close to my best either.”

“My position is not to start like this. I want to win and my feeling is that I’m not ready to win. It’s very painful for me but I cannot play this year. I don’t feel ready to compete 100 percent. I’ve had some problems in the knees for last few months, but you always try every week, another one, another one.”

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