What is Rafael Nadal’s biggest threat at the Rio Olympics 2016?
It’s not Novak Djokovic because he has already lost. It’s not even his wobbly left wrist which kept him out of action for the last two months. The biggest opponent for the Spaniard at this Olympics is the rain.
Torrential downpour washed out entire Day 5 action at the mega quadrennial Games – a day on which the 30-year-old was supposed to play three matches in singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
In singles, the third seed was to take on the 15th seeded Gilles Simon of France in their third round clash. In men’s doubles, Nadal and Marc Lopez were to square off against the seventh seeds Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil in the semi-finals. Other than that, Rafa would have kicked off his mixed doubles campaign with French Open winner Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday.
And now, all three of them have been postponed to Thursday.
With tomorrow’s weather forecast looking equally grim, Rafa’s bid for a triple Olympic gold looks in serious doubt.
The tennis event at Rio is scheduled to finish on Sunday. That means that the 2008 Olympic champion might be required to play in four singles, two men’s doubles and four mixed doubles matches if he is to win the gold in every category, unless the organizers propose to extend it.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion has already played five matches in three days and is sure to be further burdened because of inclement weather. Clearly, that is not the most ideal situation for the southpaw who is self-admittedly still not at 100% strength following his recovery.
Andy Murray too suffers because of rain
Some of the other stars who too had to suffer because of the rain include the men’s singles defending champion Andy Murray, fourth seed Kei Nishikori, ninth seed Marin Cilic and 2012 bronze medal winner Juan Martin del Potro. All of them have to play their Round 3 matches on Thursday.
On the women’s side, all four quarter-finals are now delayed by a day.