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Jun 20, 2009 at 07:42am IST

Champion Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon

London: Champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon on Friday after losing his battle to recover from a knee injury.

"Unfortunately this year I won't be able to play at Wimbledon," he told a news conference.

The Spaniard, who has been struggling with tendinitis in his knees since being 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.

OUT: He will be the first man not to defend his All England Club crown since 2002.

He 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.

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