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Rafael Nadal 'not sure' if he will play in Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19 pandemic

Rome, May 11: World number three Rafael Nadal said that he is unsure if he will take part in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo as the pandemic remains out of control in Japan just a few months away from the start of the competition.

Nadal is set to face Italian sensation Jannik Sinner in his opening match of the Italian Open on Tuesday (May 11). Sinner reached his first Masters final this year at the Miami Open, won an Australian Open warm up, reached the semifinals of the Barcelona Open last month, and the match with Humbert marked his 20th victory of the year.

"In a normal world, the Olympic Games were always my main priority. In the current world, the Olympic Games are still a priority, but things have changed. We have been for almost year-and-a-half under this pandemic and the only thing I can say is that I take the decision based in a short term," the Spaniard said.

"I am not only planning my calendar for the next six months, just for the weeks ahead. It will all depend on the evolution of things and also how my body and my head will react as I am already 35 years old."

Earlier last week, Alexander Zverev recorded the biggest win on clay of his career as he stunned Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open. Nadal, a five-time champion at this event, was a break up in the first set of his 15th quarter-final at Caja Magica but lost 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 44 minutes.

Zverev had won the previous two meetings with Nadal, both on indoor hard courts, after losing five consecutive matches against the 20-time major champion including a 6-1 6-1 rout in Monte Carlo in their first clay contest four years ago.

(With agency inputs)

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 22:07 [IST]
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