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Rafael Nadal Rio Olympics

Rafael Nadal ‘offers more medal options’ but compatriot hopeful for Spanish glory

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Rafael Nadal would have made for a major boost to Spanish medal hopes in Tokyo, but this ATP star believes there is still room for success without him.

World No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta admits that while having double Olympic gold medallist and 20-time Slam champion Nadal in one’s ranks would be a boost, he and other Spaniards can bring home hardware for Spain.

Carreno Busta is seeded sixth in the men’s singles at the Olympics, but is now out of the doubles with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, while he could still compete in the mixed.

“With Rafa (Nadal), there are always more medal options,” Carreno Busta explained. “But he is not there and we must forget about it, and focus on each one of our matches.

“In any case we have a great team, we have players who can be at the top, so [we must] support and focus on those who have come.”

Nadal claimed gold in singles at Beijing 2008 and in doubles alongside Marc Lopez at the last Games, Rio 2016.

In the men’s draw, Carreno Busta and Davidovich Fokina both made it through their first round matches.

Meanwhile among the women, Sara Sorribes Tormo upset world number one Ashleigh Barty, as Garbine Muguruza, Paula Badosa and Carla Suarez Navarro all also advanced.

“The objective is to try to get a medal,” Carreno Busta insisted. “In my case I am seeded number six, the ranking is the ranking, but being there is positive and hopefully on the court we can prove it.”


Rafael Nadal Rio Olympics
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