Nadal Backs Out of Olympics
Knee tendonitis will sideline tennis great
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2012 12:25 PM CDT
No, Rafael Nadal is not in pain in this photo; he's celebrating his win over Robin Soderling in the French Open, June 6, 2010.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

(Newser) – Rafael Nadal was supposed to carry Spain's flag at next week's opening ceremonies for the London Olympics. Now, he won't even be there. The 2008 gold medalist today announced that he is sidelining himself because of tendonitis in his knee, Reuters reports. "I am not in a condition to be able to compete," he said in a statement. "It is one of the saddest moments of my career."

The same tendonitis caused Nadal to miss a charity match earlier this month. He's hoping that sitting out the Games will give him a better chance to be ready for the US Open on August 27, according to the BBC. But Nadal said he was doing what was best for his team. "I cannot be selfish and I have to think of the good of Spanish sport, especially Spanish tennis, and let a teammate who is better prepared to compete."