Rafael Nadal: “I will not be at the best level in any of the categories”

Photo by Pedro Hernandez / @PedroRFET
Photo by Pedro Hernandez / @PedroRFET

Rafael Nadal has conceded he is not yet sure that he will be able to represent Spain at the Rio Olympics due to lingering fitness concerns.

“I will not be at the best level in any of the categories,” Rafa told journalists after arriving in Brazil on Sunday. “I have not competed for two months and I have not trained a lot.”

“I will train a few days here to see what I can do and then decide what is best, to be more positive for me and the team,” he said.

Rafa’s Spanish team mate David Ferrer acknowledged last week that the 14-time grand slam champion’s fitness situation was “delicate”.

Source: Reuters


  1. Rafa, praying first of all that your wrist is well healed, and that you are in a position to carry the Spanish flag, with I am sure help from your treasured team members.
    I am sure there are back up players waiting for a spot if you can’t manage it, with Fernandez, and david Ferrer, and Lopez.
    Rafa I am sure you will do what is preferable for your health.

    Love and prayers,

    Alaine XXSydneyXXAustraliaXX

  2. Rafa has already won a singles gold medal so it might be wise to protect his wrist from over-use by playing in the doubles only. This would still give him the opportunity to carry the flag which seems to be so important to him.
    Regarding the negative comments re. uncle Toni, he has been coaching Rafa since childhood and has helped him to win so much. I do not think it is a new coach Rafa needs. It is a new body.
    I hate to say it but I feel Rafa’s body has worn out. He has been on the professional circuit for half of his life. We can’t expect him to go on forever although tennis without Rafa will leave a hole that can’t be filled for many fans.

  3. The good news is that Rafa told nbcolympics that he would talk on Tuesday. After his two-hour practice session with friend David Ferrer he declined to talk to reporters.
    According to nbcolympics Rafa is ready to play at the Olympics. Wearing a sleeveless blue shirt and white cap, Rafa had a white band on his left wrist but showed no signs of injury.

    Can’t wait to hear what he has to say mañana.

  4. Come on guys. It’s his LAST opportunity to compete in such an big event like Olympics games. You guys obviously knew how upset Rafa was in London 2012 right? I still believe in Rafa but not his coach anymore. Too many injuries are not just bad luck.

  5. Following the discussion in this topic all eyes. You made some interesting, but also daunting points about Rafa or/ and Toni maybe only filling up expectations of the public and sponsors. It’s so hard to see inside Toni/Rafa- entanglement. We’ll never know for sure. It’s a mistery that belongs to them only.
    I don’t like it but I also do belong to the “doubtful” camp. What we read now about his body language and interviews do not make me feel more optimistic. (Is it really that bad? I see smiling pics all the way…? ). It’s kind of sad that if we’ll see him play in Rio, we’ll be once again at the point to watch every single step he makes with worries. Wished to only enjoy to see him play again after this injury-break, but by now I’m far too worried that he’ll ruin the rest of the season by playing in all three categories. On the other hand I really believe that this participation is very important for him and that this are NOT just phrases. So I try to feel happy for him. Doubts about his level of play are one side, but far worse is that doubt about the wrist and if it healed completely in such a short time. If he loses in first rounds because he’s not at the level yet, I can very much live with. He won’t blame himself anyway by losing early, after this injury. But I’ll be disappointed if he has to stop after some games or cancel the US Open and other tournaments because he’s still in pain. After RG he promised only to come back if it healed out completely. Would love to trust those words.

    Anyway, I wish that those smiles we see are all real and he’s enjoying his time in Rio.
    Good luck Rafa, no matter what!

  6. Mallorca trivia: Cynthia Lennon, John’s former wife, lived in Mallorca and died there. Burial site unknown.

  7. And what I see now is a load of ‘publicity shots’ with the Spanish and other teams. ‘Daily Motion’ have filmed him training today. He looks in incredibly good shape physically but the body language of him and his team is less than convincing.

  8. Triste d apprendre que rafa ne pourra peut-être pas jouer ms le plus important est que son poignet guerisse bien pour la continuité de sa carrière ❤❤❤❤

  9. I am SO sorry to hear Rafa is not yet in fighting trim!!! HOWEVER, I would advise Rafa NOT to participate in competitive tennis UNTIL he feels he’s up to it!!! He’s one genuinely talented champion who should NOT risk a career-ending injury by competing BEFORE he’s physically able!!! VAMOA RAFA; CUIDATE!!!!

  10. Why enter all three categories? Is it really all or nothing? I thought his body language was a bit suspect but put it down to the long trip. Maybe they desperately need him to generate interest and publicity? Not good news but I’d rather he go home than jeopardise his health anymore.

    • Yes Teresa, I questioned his choice of three events also. I thought it way too ambitious and an unnecessary burden on his wrist.
      You are probably right about publicity, etc., for the games. I was more in line thinking about his many sponsors from whom he makes an enormous amount of money but I was loathe to blame them instead of him. We’ll never know.
      He should never have gone to Rio. How heavy is the flag, do you know?


      • For all we know Margo, that’s the only reason is he there – to carry the flag!

      • I was afraid to say that because I know how ugly fans can become if someone says something they don’t like/agree with. You have been here longer than I so you should be safe. If not, I’ve got your back. 😀
        In his interviews I couldn’t understand what he was saying but he looked uncomfortable when answering, as if he were mentally screening each response before verbalizing it.

        I hope Rafa has good news for us. All I can do is hope because he gives us nothing solid. To think being a fan is so difficult never entered my mind. I was literally sick to my stomach this morning reading all those articles quoting him.

        You see, we do our homework and sometimes the media do get it wrong. This time I think they gave incorrect dates but a lot of them gave correct info. But then TONI contradicted them. Just another example of why I don’t trust him. He himself said he does not always tell the truth. I was searching for that interview but it eludes me. I can’t remember if it was on TV or the Internet. It’s been a while.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • I got the impression you’ve been on this site a lot longer than I? (I only joined earlier this year) – but that’s neither here nor there. I disagree with you about Uncle Toni though, I do trust him. I believe he errs towards the side of caution to avoid putting his nephew under too much pressure so sometimes comes across as contradictory. Remember Rafa had/has been suffering bad anxiety – they are trying to protect him from this as much as anything so are not raising expectations – understandably.

      • Yes, quite possible, but Toni expressed how pleased he was with Rafa’s practice with Andy. And the three events, that was Toni. And with the videos, I was starting to be convinced that Rafa was ready for Rio. Now, not so much.
        I am just going to have to wait until Rafa plays. All are awaiting good news before that.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • yes – the interpretation of what he said (and the particular lines that get picked out) led to, maybe, false optimism. But the problem with relying on others’ translations is accuracy and, of course, more importantly, it is hard to detect the overall ‘tone’ in which his comments were delivered.

  11. Not surprised,at least we can see Rafa with the Spanish competitors and if he can lift it, the Spanish Flag!
    Frankly and sadly I feel Rafas had it, its just disappointment after disappointment and its getting tiresome, he will have to face it,we all will, hes worn his body out,time to retire.
    But its been a grand ride, no one else plays tennis like Rafa.
    Wheres that 2008 Wimbledon video ? at least not for the first time we can relive his greatest match.

    • I agree w/you that it is getting tiresome but I feel Rafa is writing himself off. Only one-and-a-half months after his injury was Toni saying that they were starting strengthening exercises. WAY TOO SOON! I had hoped he would return no sooner than the U.S. Open. I even questioned his decision to enter all three events, saying it was dangerous.
      I am not writing him off yet in the hope that he will realize no matter how badly he wants to compete he has to heal completely before training. Maybe this will be a wake up call.


  12. This news is not new. The info has been available since he landed yesterday. Doesn’t RNF have any updates please?


  13. This is what I have been saying all along, and also that he should not return to tour at least before the US Open. It makes no sense for Rafa to keep fooling himself about Rio. Anyone who closely follows Rafa would not be duped into believing he is fit to play at Rio. I wanted to believe him but common sense told me otherwise. It’s also possible that Toni talked him in to going to Rio. Who knows what is going on with those two. Geezzzz
    Heartbreaking? Absolutely!

    • There’s no way it was Toni talking him in to anything. Rafa cares about the Olympics more than anything, he’d never miss it. Missing 2012 was the low point of his career.

      • I agree with you about 2012 but I did mention Toni as an alternative excuse.

        RAFA ROCKS

  14. You don´t need to excuse just play your best ! We love anyway see you in action! lose or win VAMOS RAFA good luck

  15. Rafael has been also diverted with a lot of other things sapping his energy: opening of his new tennis facility and all that went into it; also doctor appts and physcial therapy for his injury; and a lot less tennis going on in past months. How could he be even close to 100% yet? I think he should back out of Olympics and continue on his work for total recovery and strength.

    • I hope Rafa will decide to play doubles only. Singles could prove to be too much for his wrist. Besides he already has a gold medal for singles. So why damage his health for that?
      He wants so much to carry the flag but if he does not compete at all I doubt if it would be allowed.
      Even competing in one doubles tournament would be sufficient for him to be flag bearer.
      He was devestated when he wasn’t able to carry the flag in 2012.
      As for the negative comments re. Uncle Toni, he has been by Rafa’s side ever since Rafa was a small boy,and has helped him achieve so much. I don’t think a change of coach is what is needed.
      It is just that Rafa’s body is worn out. He has been on the professional circuit fo half of his life.
      Much as I would hate to see it I think that it is probably time to think of retiring.

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