Manuel Santana

Rafa Nadal has exceeded himself at the Rio Olympics

The Rio Olympics have once again displayed a motivated Rafa Nadal, capable of winning tough matches and not giving up a single ball for lost… his performances and commitment have been incredible particularly as he has also had to fight against glaring organizational inefficiencies, which had Nadal scheduled to play three games in one day. In any case, we have witnessed how Nadal has used these months of recuperation to ensure he arrived in Rio in the best possible shape. Having sacrificed goals of the importance of Roland Garros and Wimbledon he has at least achieved more than to simply grin and bear it in Rio and has become one of the enduring images of the Games. His loss on Saturday to Juan Martín del Potro in a very difficult match, has not diminished his showing in the slightest.

Nadal and Marc López’s gold medal in the men’s doubles is etched in history and he can still win a bronze in the singles. But in any case, Nadal has delivered 100 percent at the Olympics. And I believe that the world recognizes it. Not only opponents, teammates and people in the world of tennis, but also the press and the fans have been impressed by what he is achieving and the vibes he is giving off. Many people had already written him off. In Spain we are often that way inclined and we tend to retire athletes in our minds ahead of time. Nadal has responded with a gold medal and could add another colour as well. His commitment to the cause cannot be doubted and he has proved that by preparing conscientiously. Rafa Nadal has exceeded himself in Rio.