RIO DE JANEIRO: Former World number one Rafael Nadal has announced on Tuesday that he will play at singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the Olympics despite serious concerns over whether or not his left wrist injury will survive the gruelling challenge.
“After discussing it with my team, I have decided I will play everything that I can. We are here and practice has gone well — more or less,” said the 30-year-old Spaniard after an intense training session with compatriot David Ferrer. “It’s not an ideal situation — there are always risks, but the MRI scan was OK.”
World number five Nadal spent a lengthy period after his practice session on centre court discussing his plans with the team doctor and team captain Conchita Martinez.
He is scheduled to play doubles with Marc Lopez and mixed doubles with French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.
Nadal hasn’t played at all since he was forced to quit the French Open before the third round after damaging tendons in his left wrist.
He missed Wimbledon as a result. The protective brace he wore on his left wrist since Paris was missing on Tuesday.
The 14-time Grand Slam title winner was the gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but missed the 2012 London Games because of a knee injury.
He is due to carry his country’s flag at Friday’s opening ceremony in Rio.
Nadal’s decision to play in all three events was a major boost for the organisers who, on Tuesday saw world number four Stan Wawrinka pull out with a back injury.
Last week, world number three and 17-time major winner Roger Federer also withdrew and shut down his season to recover from a knee injury.
Fellow top ten players Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych and Dominic Thiem have also opted out of the Olympics.