Nadal ruled out of London Games

Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 01:00

Olympics: Reigning Olympic champion Rafael Nadal will not be competing at London 2012 due to injury. The 26-year-old, who was due to carry the Spanish flag at next Friday’s opening ceremony, won gold in Beijing four years ago but will not be defending his crown this summer.

Nadal also confirmed he will not be travelling to London for the Games, which would have been his first event since being eliminated in the second round at Wimbledon by then 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol.

“I am not able to compete at the Olympics in London and therefore will not be traveling as planned with the Spanish delegation,” he said. “I have to think about my colleagues. I cannot be selfish and I have to think of the good of Spanish sport, especially Spanish tennis, and let a team-mate who is better prepared to compete.

“I’ve waited until the final moment of my preparation and my training, but I cannot do it . . . It is one of the saddest moments of my career."

Nadal won a record seventh French Open title in June but crashed out in the second round at Wimbledon in a massive upset against lowly-ranked Czech Lukas Rosol. Earlier this month he pulled out of a charity match against Novak Djokovic at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium saying he was suffering from tendonitis and needed to rest.

He had hoped to return to Wimbledon this month to defend his Olympic title and his withdrawal echoes his plight of 2009 when a similar knee problem meant he had to withdraw from the grasscourt grand slam, a year after winning it for the first time in an epic defeat of Roger Federer.

“It was one of my biggest dreams, and perhaps the most anticipated moment to be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony for the Games in London,” he added. “You can imagine how difficult it has been to take this decision."

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