Rafael Nadal met the press in Rio on Friday and among the topics discussed was the back he first injured during a loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open final last month.
“I spent some days resting at home and I hope my back injury is not going to be a problem to reach the final,” said Nadal who admitted before he left his back still was not at 100%. “I felt the back issue for the first time when I was warming up for the final. I can’t predict the future, but I hope it is not a critical problem.”
The new Rio event marks the third time Nadal has played in Brazil after winning titles in both Costa do Sauipe in 2005 and in Sao Paulo last year. “Every time I can compete here in Brazil I have good feelings. I have a good connection to the fans, it is always special to play here.”
But there’s a big tournament in Rio in 2016 called the Olympics.
“Two and a half years is a long time, it is difficult to predict, but my motivation, my idea, is to try to be competitive here in Brazil in the Olympic Games,” said Nadal. “The fact I didn’t play in London is an extra motivation for me.
“I competed in Beijing and won, that was a good feeling. In 2016 I hope I will be ready for that again.”
Nadal opens plays Tuesday night against countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Rafa could face Tommy Robredo in the semis. David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro and Fabio Fognini are on the other half of the draw.
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