World No. 14 men’s tennis player, Denis Shapovalov of Canada, has pulled out of Tokyo Olympics citing “safety reasons" due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Making his announcement on Twitter on Tuesday, the 22-year-old Shapovalov said, “Hey everyone, after careful consideration I wanted to let you know that I will not be participating in the Olympics this year.
“Representing Canada means the world to me, but due to the current situation my team and I have decided this is the best decision for everyone’s safety," wrote Shapovalov, quarterfinalist at the US Open last year.
In another tweet, he wrote, “I can’t wait to represent Canada at future Olympic games (Flag of Canada)," indicating that his aim now is to represent his country at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Last week, Shapovalov had lost to Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the Queen’s Club Championships, a Wimbledon warm-up event. Norrie went on to lose in the final.
Shapovalov had withdrawn from the French Open earlier this month to rest his shoulder.
“I’m saddened to share that after consulting with my medical team I’ve made the difficult decision to withdrawal from @rolandgarros. Unfortunately my shoulder has been bothering me and while medical tests look good, it is for the best to rest. See you in 2022, Roland-Garros," Shapovalov had tweeted ahead of the French Open.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal could also miss the Olympics as he bids to prolong his career.
Britain’s Andy Murray is the defending men’s singles champion at the Olympics, winning back-to-back gold at 2012 London and 2016 Rio.
The Olympics are set to take place from July 23 to August 8.