Hesitant Nadal joins chorus of concern about Olympics

Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Rafael Nadal


ROME (AFP): Two-time Olympic champion Rafael Nadal on Tuesday became the latest top tennis player to admit that he had not yet decided whether he would participate in the Tokyo Games this summer, still giving himself time to decide according to “circumstances”.

The 34-year-old Spaniard won gold in the singles in Beijing in 2008, adding another gold in the doubles with Marc Lopez in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.

“In a normal world, I would never consider missing the Olympics. There is no doubt about that,” he said at a press conference ahead of his opening match at the Italian Open.

“Everybody knows how important the Olympics are for me. Under these circumstances, I don’t know. Let’s see what’s going on in the next couple of months. But I need to organise my schedule. I don’t know yet. Honestly, I can’t give you a clear answer because I don’t know. 

“In a normal year, I know my schedule almost 100% from 1 January until the end of the season. This year is a little bit different, no? We need to be flexible. We need to adapt to the things that are happening. I don’t know, I can’t give you an accurate answer. Sorry.” 

Nadal is the latest top tennis star to voice his concerns about the Tokyo Games.

On Monday, Serena Williams said she was undecided about going to the Olympics while Japanese stars Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori have both raised concerns about whether Tokyo should be hosting the Games at all.

“I’m an athlete, and of course my immediate thought is that I want to play in the Olympics,” Osaka told the BBC.

“But as a human, I would say we’re in a pandemic, and if people aren’t healthy, and if they’re not feeling safe, then it’s definitely a really big cause for concern.” 

The Olympics, postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus, are due to run from 23 July – 8 August.