Rafael Nadal pulls out of London Olympics

FILE - In this Sunday, June 6, 2010 file photo, Spain\'s Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Sweden\'s Robin Soderling during a men\'s finals match for the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the London Olympics, saying he is \'not in condition\' to compete. Nadal said in a statement Thursday July 19, 2012 it is one of the saddest moments of his career and that he will not travel with the Spanish delegation to London. He was set to be the flag bearer for Spain during the opening ceremony. Nadal won gold in Beijing in 2008. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

MADRID – Defending Olympic tennis champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the London Games on Thursday with an undisclosed injury.

“I am not in condition to compete in the London Olympics and therefore will not travel as planned with the Spanish delegation to take part in the games,” the third-ranked Spaniard said in a statement.

Nadal did not mention any specific injury, but he canceled a charity match in Madrid on July 4 because of tendon problems in his left knee. He has had recurring knee problems in the past.

Nadal has not played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon to then 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol, one of the most surprising results in the tournament’s history.

“I have to think about my companions, I can’t be selfish and I have to think of what’s best for Spanish sport, especially tennis and Spanish players, and give fellow sportsmen with better preparation the chance to compete,” he said. “I tried to hurry my preparations and training to the very last minute, but it was not to be.”

Nadal, who won the singles tournament at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was set to be the flag bearer for Spain during the opening ceremony.

“(This) is one of the saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the games in London, cannot be,” Nadal said. “You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision.”

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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