Rafael Nadal should carry Spain’s flag into the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony, but the nation’s flag bearer will be decided in March, Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco reportedly said in a video interview with Libertad Digital published Monday.
Nadal, the 2008 Olympic singles champion and a 14-time Grand Slam singles champion, was previously named Spain’s flag bearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony one month before those Games.
After his quick exit in Melbourne, Rafael Nadal could use a win, and Buenos Aires would seem to be a logical place to get one. The tournament was one of three that he won in 2015; now Rafa is back, and back on clay, as a wild card and the top seed. He’ll begin against either Marco Cecchinato or his friend, Juan Monaco.
Nadal has said many times throughout his career that playing rivals he has recently lost to does not cause him to want revenge, and it seems to be a similar case with missing out on defending his 2008 singles gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I have never had a spirit of revenge. I think the spirit of revenge is something negative. That had been the toughest withdrawal because you have fewer chances to play Olympics. I have played it only once. In 2012, I had a chance to be the flag bearer. To stay in the Olympic village with other athletes is priceless, it’s a unique and unforgettable experience.”
- Rafael Nadal goes back to the basics on clay | The National
“The clay courts would also allow Nadal to fine tune the recent changes he has made to his racket and strings in the hopes of hitting the ball with more top spin. The most important thing for Nadal will be rebuilding his damaged confidence. He has sought the comfort of the South American clay courts to do just that, so victory in Buenos Aires and then Rio de Janeiro will be crucial ahead of the two back-to-back Masters in Indian Wells and Miami.”
- Visión 7 – Rafael Nadal en el ATP de Buenos Aires | TV Pública Argentina
- Rafael Nadal Interview with Tennis Only (Australian Open 2016) | Tennis Warehouse