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Rafa misses Olympics with knee injury

Jul 23rd, 2012
Staff Writer

Nadal at Wimbledon 2012 || Photo credit: Wikimedia CommonsDefending Olympic champion Rafael Nadal announced Thursday that he would not defend his title in the 2012 games. “Today is one of the saddest days of my career...” he told ITF Tennis on Thursday. “The most special moment was being the flag bearer of Spain in the opening you can imagine how difficult it has been for me to make this decision.”

The world’s No. 3 player (behind Djokovic and Federer after Roger’s record seven Wimbledon titles) will be replaced by world ranked No. 30 Feliciano Lopez. Rafa’s 30-year old replacement is now presented the opportunity to compete for both the Spanish team’s doubles and singles.

Even with the absence of the heart of their team, Spain will compete for the 12th and 13th olympic medals for their national tennis team including 2008 in Athens.

Tennis was in fact one of the original nine competitions played at the first Modern Olympiad in Athens, Greece, in 1896. But the sport was removed from the Olympic field in 1924 due to scheduling conflicts and the IOC’s indifference to the competition. Not until 68 years later in the 1988 games of Seoul, South Korea, did tennis return as a recognized olympic competition, according to ITF’s Olympic tennis history.

2012 Olympic tennis will begin July 28, played at The All England Club in Wimbledon, London. Matches will continue until the championship match on August 5th.