Nadal: Olympics the most important event in the world of sport


Rafael Nadal admits he cannot understand players opting out of the Rio 2016 Olympics as it represents the pinnacle of sport.

The Spaniard has already declared his intention to feature in Brazil as he looks to add another gold to the one he won in Beijing in 2008, while Novak Djokovic has described the Games as a fifth grand slam.

However, three leading players in the men's game will not be in attendance. John Isner, Dominic Thiem and Feliciano Lopez have already ruled out competing in Rio.

It is a decision that baffles Nadal, who says he never considered not playing for Spain.

"Everybody's free to do whatever, but the experience of competing in an Olympic Games is completely different than any other event," he said.

"The Olympics is the most important event in the world of sport.

"If you don't want to be in the most important event in the world of sport, then is difficult to understand what's the motivation for the rest of the things?

"So my feeling is everybody free to do what's better for everyone, but I know how tough was for me when I had to miss the 2012 Olympics in London. 

"For sure, I cannot understand people who don't want to go to Olympics. It is something that is not every year. It is an event that you can compete only once, twice, or three in your career maybe, if you are lucky.

"So you don't want to miss that."

Nadal was speaking after moving into the third round at the French Open with a 6-3 6-0 6-3 triumph over Facundo Bagnis, his 200th grand slam victory that keeps alive his hopes of a 10th title in Paris.

"I think I played the way that I had to play to be in the third round," he added. "After difficult three first games I think I played a solid match with not many mistakes.

"But I need to keep playing better and better if I want to keep having chances in the next round, but I happy with the way that I am playing."