Kei Nishikori defeated Rafael Nadal in three sets on Sunday to take bronze in men’s singles.
A tired-looking Rafa lacked the precision he had employed so often throughout the tournament, hitting shots into the net or sending them wide. Though he battled back from a 5-2 deficit to win the second set, he couldn’t sustain it into the third.
2008 champion was below his best, that three hour epic with Del Potro had really taken it out of him. Nishikori won 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-3.
Rafa said that he is satisfied with his performance during Rio Olympics:
I have given all and more.
He admitted that Nishikori was better player on the court today, but criticized his break.
In worrying news ahead of the US Open, Rafa said the injury was still a problem.
The wrist is not perfect. It bothers me when I hit the forehand. The serve, the backhand – nothing else bothers me.
The truth is, when I hit the forehand, I feel it bothering me a little bit, but without a doubt it’s been a positive week in all aspects. I’ve played for many hours and the wrist at least didn’t get worse.
We have many reasons to smile about – our champ is back and leaves Brazil with a gold medal in men’s doubles for Spain! VAMOS RAFA!
Sources: NBC, AP