Spanish No.1 and World No.4 Rafael Nadal is in the hunt for multiple medals at this year’s Rio Olympics. A 2008 Beijing Olympics Singles Gold Medallist in Tennis, he will look to add to his trophy cabinet, a Doubles as well as a Singles Medal.
Nadal, a 14 time Grand Slam Champion partnered ‘buddy’ Marc Lopez to defeat the Canadian pair of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 7-6,7-6 in the semifinals of the Men’s Doubles event this Thursday. With the win, the pair was guaranteed at least a silver medal realizing which, the duo burst into celebrations.
Playing his first tournament since his wrist injury two months ago, Nadal himself admitted that had it not been for the sheer importance of an event like the one at Rio, he would’ve definitely given it a miss to continue recovery.
The Spaniard on Thursday, spent a gruelling four hours on the court, having booked a quarterfinal spot in the Singles Event by defeating France’s Gilles Simon 7-6, 6-3. Nadal seemed rejuvenated, and his performance was reminiscent of the way he played in 2013, during his comeback spell. Having played the Singles match, followed by the Doubles, Nadal was in fact scheduled to play a Mixed Doubles tie with fellow Spaniard and French Open Champion Garbine Muguruza. But the former chose to withdraw, probably to focus on his other two events, causing him to miss a Golden Treble.
The duo of Lopez and Nadal will face the Romanian pair of Florian Mergera and Horia Tecau in the Gold Medal Match. Nadal also faces home Favourite Thomas Bellucci in his singles match. The World No.5 has not lost a set against his quarterfinal opponent. But a spirited performance is expected from the Brazilian Bellucci, who on the back of his home crowd, will look to pull off the upset of a lifetime.