Rafael Nadal: ‘One of the saddest days of my career’

Rafael Nadal has described his decision to pull out of the Olympics through injury as ‘one of the saddest days’ of his career.

The Spaniard, who took Gold in the men’s singles at the 2008 Beijing Games, has failed to recover from an ankle problem in time for the tournament at the All England Club.

The 26-year-old had also been selected to carry his country’s flag at the opening ceremony a week on Friday.

“I have to think about my companions, I can’t be selfish and I have to think of what’s best for Spanish sport, especially tennis and Spanish players and give fellow sportsmen with better preparation the chance to compete,” he said in a statement.

“I tried to hurry my preparations and training to the very last minute, but it was not to be.

“It is one of the saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the games in London, cannot be. You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision.”

Nadal’s replacement in the 64-strong field has yet to be named.

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