Nadal ready to fly the flag for Spain despite injury layoff

The world number four is in confident mood ahead of the Rio Olympics, where he will attempt to wrest his title back from current holder Andy Murray.

Nadal ready to fly the flag for Spain despite injury layoff
J. Grapelli EFE

The last time Rafa Nadal hit a tennis ball in competitive action was at the French Open, when he was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a wrist injury.

However, Nadal is optimistic he will be ready for the Rio Olympics despite heading into next month's Games having not stepped on court since May 27.

The 14-time grand slam champion has been sidelined since injuring a tendon that forced him to pull out of the French Open after the second round and miss Wimbledon.

World number four Nadal was expected to return to action at the Toronto Masters next week before travelling to Brazil but he will also sit out that tournament to continue his preparations.

"I hope each day to go a little bit more and arrive in Rio well prepared, although as I always say there is nothing certain in this life," Nadal told reporters in his home town of Manacor on Wednesday.

"I feel fine, working and undergoing the recovery process. The time schedule is correct, there are two and a half weeks to go before we start to compete."

Nadal, who won gold at the Olympics in Beijing eight years ago, is eager to compete in Rio after missing the 2012 Games in London with a knee injury.

The 30-year-old has been named as his country's flagbearer in the opening ceremony and will be one of four Spaniards competing in the men's singles.

He will also play in the men's doubles with Marc López.

"The Olympics are just an experience that you can enjoy a few times in your career," he said. "I hope everything goes well, not like in London."