20 Jun 2009

Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon

2:22 pm on 20 June 2009

Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the tournament after losing his battle to recover from a knee injury.

The world tennis number one will be the first man not to defend his All England Club crown since Croatia's Goran Ivanisevic skipped the grasscourt grand slam in 2002.

Nadal, who was knocked out of the French Open last month, tested his fitness in two exhibition matches this week but after losing both decided not to defend his Wimbledon title just three days before the start of the major.

"I was making an effort to play week after week ... but I have two oedema (swelling of the knee joint), one in each knee... and now I'm going to be out.. I don't know what time, how long.

"I tried everything, I tried hard in the last week to get in the best condition and today was my last test," he said on Friday.

Nadal's withdrawal means the 2009 French Open champion Roger Federer is the firm favourite to regain the Wimbledon title.