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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 6 July, 2020

Nadal admits he wouldn't be competing if he wasn't at the Olympics

Spaniard Rafael Nadal shook off his left-wrist injury to move into the second round of the men’s singles tennis tournament in Rio.

Rafael Nadal has suffered an injury-plagued couple of seasons.
Rafael Nadal has suffered an injury-plagued couple of seasons.

RAFAEL NADAL SAYS he would not be competing this week if he was not at the Olympic Games.

An injury cloud hung over Nadal’s head going into Rio, with the Spaniard battling wrist issues, having missed out on London four years ago.

However, the 30-year-old was in fine form in his men’s singles opener on Sunday, breezing past Federico Delbonis of Argentina in straight sets.

Nadal was left annoyed with the continuous questions about his troublesome left wrist, banishing any future talk about the injury.

“The wrist is not perfect. I’ve said a lot of times that I don’t want to talk anymore in the competition about the wrist,” Nadal said.

“The wrist is how it is today and the wrist needs more time, and that’s the last time I talk about the wrist here.

“If this was not the Olympic Games I would not be here competing because I need to have more rehab. It’s only one chance every four years at an Olympic Games and it is something unforgettable.

“I missed the last one in London 2012 so I don’t want to miss this one. I’m enjoying a lot and I’m happy.

“Today was a great feeling on court. The plan for me now is to go rest, eat something and be ready for the doubles.”

Nadal was in dominant form against Delbonis, converting six break points in the 6-2 6-1 win.

“It was a very special feeling. It was a great moment for me to be back on court, especially in an Olympic Games – it’s a different feeling than a normal competition,” he added.

“I enjoyed the match with a great crowd and I’m very happy the way I started the competition.”

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