Olympics: Nadal calls time on wrist injury talk

Rafael Nadal has dismissed talk about his left wrist injury after defeating Federico Delbonis to enter the second round.
Rafael Nadal has dismissed talk about his left wrist injury after defeating Federico Delbonis to enter the second round.PHOTO: EPA

RIO DE JANERIO (AFP) - Rafael Nadal banished talk over the state of his left wrist on Sunday, opting instead to focus on the "unforgettable experience" of taking part in the Olympics after being forced to sit out the 2012 Games.

Playing his first match in two months, the 14-time Major winner coasted into the second round with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win over Federico Delbonis of Argentina.

Nadal, sidelined by a left wrist tendon injury since the French Open, showed no signs of the problem which also kept him from Wimbledon as he set up a clash with Italy's Andreas Seppi.

"The wrist is not perfect but I don't want to talk about it anymore during the tournament," said Nadal, who missed the London Olympics with a knee injury. "It is how it is. It needs more time. If this wasn't the Olympic Games then I would not be here competing."

Nadal carried the Spain flag at Friday's opening ceremony, having had to cede the honour to basketball star Pau Gasol in London four years ago.

"This is an unforgettable experience. I missed London and I came close to missing this one too," said Nadal, who has a heavy workload in Rio. As well as bidding for a second singles gold to add to his 2008 triumph in Beijing, Nadal is playing doubles with Marc Lopez and mixed with French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.

"Carrying the flag will stay in my mind for the rest of my life, so thanks to all the people who thought I would be the best man. Not going to London was one of the toughest decisions of my career, but being here is something great. The Olympics is the highest thing in sport."


Despite his joy at making the next round, Nadal was less than pleased about the playing conditions on Court One, insisting that the electronic scoreboard was making it difficult to see.

Nadal even complained to umpire Carlos Ramos that it was hard to spot the ball, especially in the gloomy conditions of the Barra tennis centre.

"We cannot play," he said to the official.

He added later: "The screen was in the middle of the arena and when my opponent hit the ball in this region, I couldn't see it. The low intensity light is a bad idea. The International Tennis Federation should forget it. We can't play like that, it is the reality."