Published: 10:38 23/07/2012
Spain’s designated Olympic flag-bearer Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Olympics causing a shake up in the men’s tennis betting.
The reigning Olympic singles champion was saddened to make the announcement but was left with little option after failing to recover from a knee injury. Nadal had been looking forward to carrying the national flag at the Olympic opening ceremony next Friday but has felt for some time he was fighting a losing battle to recover from a knee problem.
Speaking to Reuters Television from his gym in Mallorca at the weekend, Nadal said: “You never know if it happens only one time in life bringing the flag of my country to the Olympics with all the sports family of Spain there. All I can say is that I did as much as I could to be there and to be ready but it wasn't the right time.
"My emotion and my illusion (dream) to compete in the Olympics was more than ever. The only thing that I can do is to work hard and try to do the things that will create another opportunity in Rio 2016," he added.
"When I had to take the decision was the toughest moment. But it was something that I was thinking was going to happen for the last six, seven days because the knee was not improving."
Nadal suffers an ongoing problem with tendonitis in his knees which has forced him to retire from a number of tournaments in the last three years. In that time, the eleven-time Grand Slam champion has fallen from number one to number three in the world and faces a battle to be ready for the next Grand Slam at the US Open in August.
Following news of Nadal’s absence, bookmakers have reformed the betting market for the Olympic Tennis Men’s Singles Gold Medal, selected odds:
7/4 Novak Djokovic (BetVictor)
23/10 Roger Federer (Youwin)
6/1 Andy Murray (Totepool)
22/1 Jo Wilfried Tsonga (Youwin)
33/1 David Ferrer (BetVictor)
Others 40/1 and more
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