Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the London 2012 Olympics due to injury, stating he is “not in condition” to compete.
Nadal, who picked up the gold medal in Beijing four years ago, revealed his decision in a statement this afternoon, adding that it was “one of the saddest moments of his career.” The 26-year-old was given the honour of being Spain’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony, but as a result of his injury, will not be traveling with the Spanish delegation.
"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," Nadal said in his statement on the Spanish federation (RFET) website.
“I tried to hurry my preparations and training to the very last minute, but it was not to be."
Nadal has not played since his surprising defeat to 100th ranked outsider Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon three weeks ago. The Spainard has been struggling to fully recover from a knee injury suffered in the French Open, but had been battling for fitness in time for the London 2012.
The world number three will be replaced Feliciano Lopez, ranked 15th in the world. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will now be considered favourites to claim gold at London 2012, while Andy Murray’s chances may be boosted as a result of Nadal’s unfortunate withdrawal.