Rafael Nadal had a lot on his plate on Thursday at the Rio Olympics 2016. This is probably how he must have felt before the day began.
It started with a third-round singles match against France’s Gilles Simon, who the Spaniard beat in straight sets. He continued with a semifinal doubles match with Marc Lopez. The victory assured the duo of a silver medal in the Rio Olympics. That’s not all! Nadal finished the day with a mixed-doubles match with partner Garbiñe Muguruza. He ended this fight with defeat, but he has probably won the war – not just for Spain, not just for Lopez, but for himself and his redemption.
So it wasn’t surprising that he got very emotional after victory. His celebration with friend and doubles partner Marc Lopez could melt the coldest of hearts.
Nadal, who’s usually known for his aggressive style, couldn’t hold back his tears. It clearly showed how much the victory meant to him.
Physical and mental pressure weighed on Nadal against Simon. The champion proved himself by sailing through the victory, despite playing for the first time in two and a half months due to a wrist injury.
Nadal will be against hometown favourite Thomaz Bellucci in the men’s singles quarterfinals. Right after that match, Nadal will be back on court to with Marc Lopez in a gold medal doubles match against Romania’s Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau.