Nadal pulls out of London Olympics

Rafael Nadal, who took home the gold medal in Beijing 2008, failed to recover from a knee injury in time for London

HUGE UPSET. Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his loss to Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol in their second round men's singles match on day four of the 2012 Wimbledon Championship. AFP.

(UPDATED) MANILA, Philippines – Spanish tennis player star and defending Olympic champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the London Olympics because he’s not fit enough.

“It is one of the saddest moments of my career,” the eleven-time Grand Slam singles champion said in a statement on Thursday, July 19.
Nadal added: “I have to think about my team mates.”

“I am not in condition to compete in the London Olympics, so I will not be travelling as planned with the Spanish delegation to compete in them,” said Nadal, who had been recovering from a knee injury.

Nadal explained that today is a truly sad day for him because he was looking forward to being Spain’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony.

“You can imagine how difficult it has been to take this decision,” he said.

Nadal was knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round on June 28 in a shock defeat by Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic, who was then ranked 100th in the world.

Days later, the Spaniard announced he was taking two weeks off because of tendinitis in his knee but he was keen to be ready in time for the Olympics, which start on July 27.

“I have to think of my team-mates. I cannot be selfish and have to think of the good of Spanish sport, especially Spanish tennis, and let a team-mate play who is more prepared and in better condition to compete,” Nadal said on Thursday.

“I have pushed myself up to the last moment in my preparation and in my training, but it was not to be.”

Nadal won an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, prevailing in straight sets against Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez in the men’s singles final.

He has since added six Grand Slam titles to his honours list, culminating in a record seventh French Open success in June that took his tally of major singles honours to 11. –, with reports from Agence France-Presse