|Rafael Nadal won the gold medal in the men's singles |
competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Sports Illustrated reports:
The third-ranked Nadal said Thursday he wasn't in condition to compete at the Olympic tennis tournament - which also will be held at Wimbledon.
"This is one of the saddest moments of my career," Nadal said in a statement. "I have to think about my companions, I can't be selfish and I have to think of what's best for Spanish sport, especially tennis and Spanish players, and give fellow sportsmen with better preparation the chance to compete.
"I tried to hurry my preparations and training to the very last minute, but it was not to be."
The 26-year-old Spaniard has won two Wimbledon titles and claimed gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision," he said.
Nadal had been the last of the four singles finalists from 2008 in the London Olympics. Men's silver medal winner Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, who Nadal beat in straight sets in Beijing, and women's finalists Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina of Russia, will also be missing from the London Games.
World #2 Novak Djokovic claimed Bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and World #1 Roger Federer won the Men's Doubles gold medal with Stanslas Wawrinka but has stated one of his main goals is to complete "the Career Golden Slam" by winning a gold medal in singles. Federer won his 7th Wimbledon title two weeks ago and must be considered the favorite to repeat that win his first Olympic Men's Singles gold medal since the tournament will be played on the same surface at the same venue starting on July 28th.
Nadal will be replaced by the pulchritudinous Feliciano Lopez, World #30, on the Spanish Olympic Men's tennis team.