Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal on Wednesday said he expected to be injury-free and well-prepared for the Olympics, which start from August 5.
Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, disappointed fans when he was forced earlier this year to pull out of Wimbledon, Queen’s Club and French Open, a competition he had won a record nine times, citing a wrist injury, reports Xinhua.
“I hope to improve a bit every day and be well-prepared for Rio, although, as I always say, nothing is ever certain in life,” Nadal said during the presentation of his “Sport Xperience by Rafa Nadal” in his hometown of Manacor, a small village on the Balearic island of Mallorca.
The 30-year-old displayed optimism when asked about his recovery process from the wrist injury that has also kept him from participating in the upcoming Rogers Cup in Toronto.
“I feel fine, am working hard and recovering,” said the Spanish player at the presentation of his interactive exhibit which showcases the numerous trophies he has won and includes games and tennis simulations.
Nadal said the timing was correct to make his decision as there were two and a half weeks left to the start of the Games.
Concerns about the Spanish star’s fitness became acute when he pulled out of Wimbledon, where he had appeared in five finals during his career.
The clay-court expert had won the grass court championship twice and been a runner-up in 2006, 2007 and 2011.
Nadal, who won men’s singles title in Beijing Olympics, expressed his appreciation for the “recognition” implied in being the designated flag bearer for the Spanish delegation at the Rio Olympics.
He also said that taking part in the Olympics is an experience that an athlete can “very seldom” enjoy in his career.
“I hope everything turns out well this time, unlike in London,” he added, in reference to the 2012 edition of the Olympics, in which he was unable to compete due to an injury.