Rafael Nadal is set to return to the tennis courts and will be participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics despite a wrist injury that could affect his play in the tournament.
“Yes. I was talking with the whole team and the team decided that I am going to play, so I’m going to try to practice for the next couple of days,” Nadal said via the official Olympics website.
He added, “It’s not the ideal situation but my captain (Conchita Martinez) had confidence today that I am the best option to try to get a positive result for our country. So I practiced six hours today. The wrist is not 100 per cent perfect but the best thing is that after the six hours of practice the wrist is not worse than yesterday. That is great news.”
Nadal also shared a photo on social media saying he’s ready for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
By admitting that he will play with a wrist injury, Nadal wants to lower expectations of him finishing with a medal in these Summer Games. There were rumors that Nadal will follow rival Roger Federer in withdrawing from the Olympics but it looks like the Spaniard will give it a try in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Nadal will not be among the favorites to win the gold medal with the wrist injury and the top two players in the world, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are pegged to win the gold medal in the men’s event in the 2016 Rio Olympics men’s tennis event.
“I’m excited to be in an Olympics. It is once every four years and you never know what is going on in the future. I lost London (2012 Olympic Games) so I’m excited to be here and I’m motivated to play,” Nadal added in the article.
Nadal is a former No. 1 player in the ATP Tour but has struggled with injuries the last two seasons. The Spanish pro remains one of the most popular players although he is not an elite player anymore. However, the fans in Rio will be glad to see Nadal playing despite the injuries.
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@RafaelNadal