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Rafael Nadal out of the London Olympics

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Rafael Nadal, who was due to be Spain’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, has pulled out of the London Olympics because he is “not in condition” to compete due to injury.

Nadal, who won the singles gold at Beijing four years ago, said in a statement his withdrawal made it one of the saddest days of his career. He will not travel with the Spanish delegation to the Games.

Nadal has not played since his shock defeat by Lukas Rosol, then ranked 100 in the world, in the second round at Wimbledon. He has been struggling with a knee injury since winning the French Open.

“I have to think about my colleagues, 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,” said the 26-year-old, who won a record seventh French Open title in June.

“I tried to hurry my preparations and training up to the very last minute, but it was not to be.”

He saidthe decision “is one of the saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the Games in London, cannot be. You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision.

“I am not able to compete at the Olympics in London and therefore will not be travelling as planned with the Spanish delegation,” he said. Earlier this month Nadal pulled out of a charity match against Novak Djokovic in Madrid because he was suffering from tendonitis.