Rafael Nadal has opted not to compete at Wimbledon and Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

World number three Rafael Nadal has announced his decision not to compete at Wimbledon and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with the Spanish star focusing on prolonging his career.

Nadal issued a statement confirming the decision after discussions with his support team.

The 35-year-old highlighted the shorter two-week time gap between the conclusion of the French Open last week and the start of Wimbledon on June 28 as contributing to the choice.

Nadal, who has suffered a series of knee injuries during his career, said it was important to listen to his body.

Austria's Dominic Thiem - the current US Open champion - has also today opted out.

"I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Nadal said in a statement.

"It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.

"The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.

"The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG [Roland Garros] and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season.

"They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term."

Nadal added: "Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.

"I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular.

"The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live.

"I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country."

Nadal won gold in the men’s singles event at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where he beat Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez in the final.

Nadal, who competed in the men’s doubles at Athens 2004, was forced to withdraw from London 2012 due to a knee injury.

He competed at a third Olympic Games at Rio 2016, where he secured men’s doubles gold with Marc Lopez.

Rafael Nadal won the men's singles title at Beijing 2008 ©Getty Images
Rafael Nadal won the men's singles title at Beijing 2008 ©Getty Images

World number one Novak Djokovic is expected to compete at Tokyo 2020 as he seeks a maiden Olympic singles gold medal.

The Serbian is being tipped to secure a "Golden Slam" after winning the Australian Open and French Open already this year, knocking 13-time champion Nadal out of the latter.

Swiss star Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open during the tournament to focus on preparing for Wimbledon as he returned from a knee injury, with the 39-year-old’s participation at Tokyo 2020 remaining uncertain.

Djokovic’s victory at the French Open saw him move to 19 Grand Slam titles in his career, moving one behind Federer and Nadal ahead of Wimbledon.