Sports Outside the Beltway

Rafael Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon

He becomes the first defending champion since Goran Ivanisevic in 2002 to not defend their title. From AP-

Defending champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon on Friday because of tendinitis in his knees.

He is the first reigning Wimbledon men’s champion to not defend the title since Goran Ivanisevic in 2002 — and only the second in the last 35 years. The grass-court Grand Slam tournament begins Monday.

“I’m just not 100 percent,” the No. 1-ranked Nadal said during a news conference at the All England Club. “I’m better than I was a couple of weeks ago, but I just don’t feel ready.”

His announcement came about 2½ hours after he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in an exhibition match on grass at the Hurlingham Club in south London.

“Today was the last test,” Nadal said. “I didn’t feel terrible but not close to my best.”

There will be other Wimbledons for Nadal to take a crack at. I think he made the right decision for 2009.

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