World number three Rafael Nadal received a severe blow as he was forced to withdraw from the Olympic Games due to knee tendinitis. The Spaniard has said that he does not find himself fit to participate and its one of the saddest days of his career as he would miss the chance to carry his country’s flag.
Nadal, who had won Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics four years ago, was supposed to defend his title at the biggest sports event in the world. The 25-year-old was also nominated as Spain’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, an honour which every athlete dreams all over his life.
Announcing his withdrawal from the mega event, Nadal said, “It’s 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.”
The 11-time Grand Slam champion added, “I do not find myself in a condition to compete. 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.”
Nothing has gone in Nadal’s favour since he won his record breaking seventh French Open title. The Spaniard surpassed previous King of clay Bjorn Borg’s record of six Roland Garros crowns by beating the then world number one Novak Djokovic in the final. That was the time when Nadal’s fans thought that their hero is back at his best to claim top titles.
However, the Spaniard was stunned by low ranked German opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open after three days.
If that was not enough, Nadal faced a humiliating second round defeat at the hands of Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol, who was ranked 100th at that time, at the Wimbledon.
Few days after getting out of the Wimbledon, Nadal revealed that he was suffering from knee tendinitis once again, pulling out of an exhibition match against Djokovic to take rest and heal his injury.
This injury had shown its signs back in March this year, when Nadal had withdrawn from his semi-final clash against Great Britain’s number one player Andy Murray at the Sony Ericsson Open.
At that moment, Nadal had said, “I saw that the situation was to be complicated to play. But, as always, I believe that things can improve. I did a lot of treatment, waiting. But I am not ready to compete. I am very sorry.”
This is not for the first time that Nadal has withdrawn from a mega event due to this recurring knee injury. The Spaniard was unable to defend his Wimbledon title back in 2009 due to the same problem.