“Neither in Doubt or In No Doubt”: Rafael Nadal Still Unsure of Tokyo Olympics 2021 Participation

Published 05/23/2021, 7:58 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Rafael Nadal has affirmed his statement from 10 days back, saying he is still not a hundred percent certain of representing his country at the Tokyo Olympics this year. In an interview with a Spanish publication, the current World No.3 said that he will turn 35 in a few days and has to respect the signs of his body.


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The Spaniard added that he had his schedule etched out between January to December before the pandemic hit.

Rafael Nadal says he has to respect his body at his age


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Nadal said at his age, it’s important to slow down from time to time and not push oneself to a point where one risks injuries or a breakdown.

On whether he has altered his position vis-a-vis Tokyo over the last ten days, the Spaniard said, “I think exactly the same.”

“I had my calendar practically defined from January to December. Nowadays, one has to analyze things a little differently and I also have a different age. I am 35 years old in a few days and the reality is that I also have to listen to my body,” Nadal said.

While not entirely ruling out his chances of participation at the Summer Games, the 13-time French Open champion said that he will arrive at a decision at the appropriate time.

“And the decision of the Olympics…Well, when the time comes, it will be decided. It is neither in doubt nor in no doubt,” the champion said.

He revealed that he is not even sure if he will be available for all the tournaments this tennis season.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 13, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his third round match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The reigning Rome champion said his immediate goal is to meet the short-term goal that he has set for himself — which is to stay fit and healthy till the end of Roland-Garros.

Nadal says he set a short-term calendar till French Open

“I am not clear about my tournaments either on the circuit. What I do is set a short-term calendar for myself. I had a calendar until Roland-Garros and I have been able to fulfil it luckily, and from there we will see what next tournaments and my next calendar will be,” Nadal said.

Having started his clay court season with a shock defeat at Monte-Carlo Masters, the Spaniard recovered to lift a record 12th Barcelona title.


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He hit another bump in Madrid, losing to eventual champion Alexander Zverev, but hauled his season on dirt back on the rails with a 10th career title in Rome.


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Surging with confidence, Nadal will eye the proverbial icing on his clay season at Roland-Garros.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.