Rafa Roundup: Nadal surprised that the Rio Olympics tournament will be played on hardcourt and not clay

AFP Photo/Pedro Martins
AFP Photo/Pedro Martins


I am surprised that in a country which has clay specialists the Olympics are going to be on hardcourt,” Nadal told a press conference on Rio, where from Tuesday he will look to defend the ATP 500 event he won last year. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has explained the choice is based on the August 6 to 15 tournament coming just two weeks before the US Open, which is likewise played on hardcourt.

It was 38 C (100 F) on Friday with the same temperatures predicted for next week. ”I think this heat would affect anybody,” Nadal said. ”It’s very difficult with these conditions. The conditions are extreme, with high humidity on top of that. If it doesn’t cool off, I’ll suffer and try to survive any way I can.”… ”I don’t know if I’m ready to win here or not,” he said. ”I’m going to try to be ready for Tuesday and be competitive, and then we’ll see what’s going on. It’s my first tournament on clay after a long time, and always you need time to adapt.

“Siempre tuve fascinación y tenía muchas ganas de conocerlo en directo. Va a ser todo un espectáculo”, dijo el ‘número tres’ mundial en el aeropuerto Antonio Carlos Jobim. Nadal desfilará en compañía de David Ferrer y el gran ídolo local, Gustavo Kuerten, junto a la Escuela de Samba Unidos do Viradouro que abrirá el primer día de desfiles.

Match by match, at upcoming tournaments, these keys will measure his success or shortcomings. If he plays with his A-level in all four aforementioned categories he will be unbeatable. If he grades well in three categories without anything collapsing, he should be very dominant. But if two or more of these areas give him trouble, especially his movement and confidence, it could be more of a struggle, a bit more like 2014 than 2013. But even a “struggling Nadal” would love to repeat 2014. That’s right. He won the French Open title anyway.


  • Rafael Nadal practices in Rio (February 13, 2015)


Barry Cowan: “Rafa’s consistency on the clay over many years is truly remarkable. It takes a great champion and it also requires incredible focus to remain unbeatable for a decade.”


Leave a Reply