23 Jul 2012

Nadal sad to miss 'once in lifetime' chance

4:56 am on 23 July 2012

Rafael Nadal fears the chance to carry Spain's flag at an Olympics opening ceremony may not come around again after being forced to withdraw from the London 2012 tennis event with a knee injury.

The 11-times grand slam champion was to be his country's flagbearer at next Friday's opening ceremony but pulled out on Thursday after failing to recover from the knee problems that have dogged him.

The Olympic singles champion now faces a battle to be fit for the forthcoming US hardcourt season culminating at the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

The 26-year-old says it had been a hard decision to withdraw and he plans to work hard and try to do the things that will create another opportunity in Rio 2016