Tokyo Olympics

Nadal casts doubts over Olympic participation with wait-and-watch approach

Nadal casts doubts over Olympic participation with wait-and-watch approach

OLYMPIC CHAMP. Rafael Nadal has won an Olympic gold both in the singles and doubles.

Photo by Eric Gaillard/Reuters

‘In a normal world I'll never think about missing Olympics,’ says Rafael Nadal, admitting he has yet to finalize his plans on the Tokyo Games

Rafa Nadal has raised doubts about his participation in this year’s Tokyo Olympics amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying on Tuesday, May 11, that he has to be flexible and cannot give a clear answer until he organizes his schedule for the year.

Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas until the end of May as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases, raising new questions about whether the rescheduled July 23 to August 8 Games should go ahead.

Nadal, who won a singles gold in Beijing 2008 and added a doubles title in Rio de Janeiro eight years later partnering Marc Lopez, said he is yet to firm up his plans on traveling to Tokyo.

“I don’t know yet. Honestly I can’t give you a clear answer because I don’t know. I don’t know my calendar,” Nadal told a news conference at the Rome Masters.

“In a normal world I’ll never think about missing Olympics. There’s no doubt about that. Everybody knows how important it has been for me to always play in the Olympics.

“Under these circumstances, I don’t know. Let’s see what’s going on in the next couple of months. I need to organize my schedule… In a normal year, I know my schedule almost 100% from January 1 until the end of the season.”

Japan’s top-ranked men’s and women’s players – Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka – have raised concerns about staging the Games amid the pandemic.

“This year is a bit different, no? We need to be flexible. We need to adapt about things that are happening,” Nadal said. –