Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Nadal confirms Rio 2016 participation despite wrist injury

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Reuters / Jason Cairnduff

With tennis stars seemingly dropping out of the Olympics on a daily basis, Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will compete this month in Rio de Janeiro.

Though the former world No. 1 was forced to sit out a majority of the ATP season with a wrist injury, Spain’s flag bearer will compete despite not being fully recovered.

“Yes,” Nadal told reporters Tuesday. “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.

“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 percent 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, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, expects to play in both the singles and doubles events. He confessed that he’s excited about the opportunity to compete at the Games once again.

“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.”

The path to gold might be a little easier than years past with the likes of Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, and Milos Raonic dropping out of the competition. But Nadal should face a difficult test against medal hopefuls such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

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