Nadal secures medal for Spain in Men’s Doubles; also advances in singles: Spanish pair of Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez edged over Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4) to reach the men’s doubles final in Rio Olympics tennis here. It was an emotional victory that moved the 14-time Grand Slam champion to tears on Thursday.

Nadal, whose participation in these Games was in doubt until shortly before the opening ceremony, decided after seven straight victories over two events that he needed to give his body a rest and withdrew from the mixed doubles, which got under way on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

The 30-year-old Spanish, who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games but was unable to defend his title in London due to injury, assured himself of a second Olympic medal with the hard-fought men’s doubles victory.

Rafael Nadal continued on his path back to full fitness on Tuesday by claiming his third victory at Rio 2016 in two days.Juan Martin Del Potro, who had earlier beaten Joao Sousa in the singles less than 24 hours after defeating Novak Djokovic, was on the losing side along with Maximo Gonzalez.

The world No 5 had not played a competitive game since quitting the French Open in May due to a wrist injury. But the Spaniard has shown little signs of discomfort after returning to the court at this Olympics.

“I’m very happy, extremely excited and [to] enjoy this moment here in the Olympics, especially with one of my best friends, with Marc, is something unforgettable,” said Nadal.

“It’s not been an easy season for me,” Nadal said. “Two weeks ago, I really didn’t know if I will have the chance to be here and compete in this Olympic Games, because the practice (time) was almost zero for two months.”

Nadal’s victory in the men’s doubles was celebrated with great pomp by fans at the Rio Olympics, 2016.