Rogers Cup 2016: Williams, Federer, Nadal withdraw - here's why that is a good idea
Spanish ace Rafael Nadal has had a mammoth clay court season in 2016, winning titles at the Monte Carlo Masters and in Barcelona and looking in fine form. Then, just as quickly as he reached his peak after years of struggles, Nadal withdrew from two Grand Slams back-to-back, missing out on both the French Open and Wimbledon with a wrist injury that has hampered his progress.
This year, Nadal also had his worst ever exit at a Grand Slam, crashing out in the first round to compatriot and Davis Cup teammate Fernando Verdasco in a five-setter that saw Verdasco emerge the mentally stronger player.
Many have argued that although Nadal has in fact struggled with injury, it is more a mental battle that the Spaniard has needed to fight, one he was on top of at the peak of his career, and one that has perhaps faltered in the 2016 season.
The 29-year-old will not have been thrilled at missing out on a chance for a 10th title at his favourite Grand Slam venue, the Stade de Roland Garros, and having already been on a long period of rest to recover from the wrist injury that has been essential to his performance, it would be advisable for Nadal to try to achieve Olympic success.
He has already won gold at the Olympics before, winning top honours in Beijing in 2008, but having struggled against opponents that he should not on paper have been taxed against, it is a good move for the Spaniard to take a breather ahead of Rio 2016.