Rafael Nadal announced today from Manacor that he will be pulling out of the Olympics, where he was to be flag bearer and defending champion in the singles competition. He called it one of the saddest days of his career. Here’s the statement:
Manacor, July 19, 2012
Rafa Nadal: “I am not in condition to compete in the London Olympics and therefore will not travel as planned with the Spanish delegation to take part in the games”
“I have to think about my companions, I can’t be selfish and I have to think of what’s best for Spanish sport, especially tennis and Spanish players and give fellow sportsmen with better preparation the chance to compete. I tried to hurry my preparations and training to the very last minute, but it was not to be ”
“is one of the saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the games in London, cannot be. You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision.”
Feliciano Lopez will reportedly take his place in singles.
Spanish media has been reporting on the tenuous state of Nadal’s knee tendonitis, an injury that’s taken him out of competition in the past, including the 2009 Wimbledon.
Details via El Pais (google translation):
Nadal underwent two ultrasound scans during Wimbledon, Where he was eliminated in the second round. He had been suffering from knee problems since the Miami Masters tournament in the spring, where he was obliged to withdraw at the semifinal stage. After Wimbledon, Nadal consulted the federation doctor, who is also the player’s staff physician, Angel Cotorro, and Mikel Sanchez who administered injections required Nadal to rest that completely for 15 days.
Rafa in his own words, after canceling the big exhibition he had planned with Novak Djokovic in Barcelona (via NadalNews):
“I want to apologize to everyone, especially to the fans who had already purchased many tickets for this such a good cause, but sorry no can play soul exhibition NADAL in Madrid in the Bernabeu, July 14.” “Doctors have been watching my knee and tell me I have a tendinitis in the patellar tendon and I have to be 15 days at rest, which makes impossible that you can play with Novak Djokovic as we had planned and announced.”
Rafa told the press that he intended to do everything possible to be ready for the Games, though his phrasing left some doubt to the state of his health (via Tennis.com):
“I am doing everything possible to recover. After Roland Garros I had a difficult time, but the excitement is at its maximum, I am working as hard as I can and hopefully I will be at 100 percent. I am the one who is most worried. I hope that things improve and my intention is to arrive in London well prepared and recuperated. It is for this that I work every day. Carrying the flag will be something unforgettable.”
Subsequent posts on his Facebook page showed him cheerfully stretching and posing on the stationary bike in the gym, with accompanying messages like: “Stretching after the practice, more and more eager to arrive to London!”
Peter Bodo writes in his latest column at tennis.com that the tendonitis may be worsening:
“sources close to the Spanish camp told me that Nadal underwent multiple MRI examinations while still in London, and that the diagnosis for his conditions is tendinopathy. I believe the diagnosis indicates a heightened threat to Nadal’s health and the future of his career, but I’m not sure about that.”
Apparently, good intentions and good training just weren’t enough for Rafa this time, especially if the injury is growing the worse for wear. We all know that Rafa will continue to do whatever it takes to make it back to the court – unfortunately his knee injury has a history of flaring up during this, the meatiest time, of the season.