Lopez to skip Olympics


Feliciano Lopez has opted against representing Spain at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The world number 23 pointed to a demanding schedule as his reason for skipping the Games, which begin on August 5.

In a statement posted on Twitter and Facebook, Lopez said it was a tough call to make but felt it was important for Spain's other talents to experience the Games.

"I have always felt a special pride in representing Spain and this has been a very difficult decision," the left-hander wrote.

"I was fortunate to participate in Athens in 2004 and London in 2012, where I and David Ferrer were very close to a medal in doubles.

"Both Games gave me the opportunity to live an unforgettable experience as an athlete.

"I now hope other colleagues who perhaps have not had the opportunity to represent Spain in Olympic Games can enjoy the same. I wish them luck in Rio."

Tennis in Rio will be played on hard-courts in order to not impact players' preparations for the US Open, which is played just weeks later, but no ranking points are on offer.

Rafael Nadal, a 14-time grand slam champion, is Spain's flag-bearer for the Games.