RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 2 — Spanish star Rafael Nadal will decide today whether or not to play all three tennis events at the Olympic Games as he continues his comeback from a two-month injury absence.
The 14-time Grand Slam title winner, who practiced for the first time in Rio yesterday, is scheduled to play singles, doubles with Marc Lopez and mixed with French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.
But his uncle and coach Toni admitted that his nephew may have to rethink his schedule — even possibly sitting out the singles.
“I don’t know because that depends on who would be better for the team,” Toni Nadal said when asked if his nephew will prioritise the singles.
“We are waiting until tomorrow to take a decision to play all the things or not — singles, doubles and mixed doubles.”
“Tomorrow we have to talk with (Spain coach) Conchita Martinez and with Rafa and what we think is better for the team, and then we play. Sure, sure, we play something.”
Nadal, 30, was forced to quit the French Open before the third round after damaging tendons in his left wrist and hasn’t played since, missing Wimbledon in the process.
“His wrist is so much better. We tried to practise normally. We played with a good level, a good intensity,” said Toni after yesterday’s practice.
“After Roland Garros we were waiting for five weeks and then we started to play a little bit, to work with the wrist.”
Nadal admitted himself on arriving in Brazil that he was still struggling for fitness.
“I will not be in the best in any category,” Nadal told Spanish media.
“I have not competed for two months and I have not trained much. I will train a few days to see what I can do and then decide what is best, the most positive thing for me and for the team.”
Nadal 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 Spain’s flag at the opening ceremony in Rio on Friday.
The men’s tennis event has already lost a host of stars either through injury, scheduling problems or worries over the Zika virus.
Roger Federer has called time on his season to rest a knee injury.
Fellow top 20 players Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych, Dominic Thiem, Richard Gasquet, John Isner, Feliciano Lopez and Nick Kyrgios are also out. — AFP