With the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics just a few days away, Rafael Nadal still doesn’t know if he’ll be competing in Rio. The tennis star is in Brazil, but he has yet to determine whether or not he’ll represent Spain in the games.
Nadal hasn’t played competitive tennis since May when he withdrew from the third round of the French Open because of a wrist injury. He’s yet to return, missing Wimbledon a month later.
Even if Nadal manages to compete, he doesn’t expect to be at the top of his game.
"I will not be at the best level in any of the categories," Nadal told reporters in Brazil on Sunday. "I have not competed for two months and I have not trained a lot.
"I will train a few days here to see what I can do and then decide what is best, to be more positive for me and the team."
Having not competed in two months, Nadal finds himself ranked fifth in the world, recently falling from No.4 and swapping places with Stan Wawrinka. He suffered a quarterfinals loss to Novak Djokovic in Rome in the last tournament that he completed. His last victory came in Barcelona in April as he defeated Ken Nishikori in the finals for his second straight win.
It’s possible that Nadal won’t participate in the men’s singles, but could still compete in Rio. Nadal might choose to only play doubles at the Olympics because it would cause less stress on his wrist.
Nadal won the gold medal in men’s singles eight years ago at the 2008 Beijing Games. He withdrew from the 2012 London Olympics because of knee tendinitis, claiming he wasn’t in condition to compete and it would have been “selfish” of him to do so.
Nadal was chosen to be Spain’s flag bearer in April, an honor that went to the NBA’s Pau Gasol in 2012 when the tennis star pulled out of the Olympics.
If Nadal doesn’t play in Rio, he’ll join a few of the sport’s biggest names that are skipping the games. Roger Federer is skipping the Olympics because a knee injury will keep him out until 2017. Milos Raonic won’t play, citing health concerns over the Zika virus.