Nadal aims to carry Olympic boost into US Open

Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:23pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal was exhausted yet exhilarated following his emotional return to action at this month's Rio Olympics after an injury-absence and is looking forward to gearing back up for the U.S. Open starting on Monday.

"If you’re not excited about the U.S. Open, you’re not a tennis player," Nadal told reporters.

Injuries are affecting several top players heading into the last grand slam of the year in a season made even more hectic with the Olympics squeezed into the schedule.

Men's top seed Novak Djokovic, like Nadal, is also dealing with a wrist injury and women's number one Serena Williams is coping with a sore right shoulder.

Lefthander Nadal, sidelined after being unable to play his third-round match at the French Open because of an injured left wrist, decided to test himself in Rio.

"I was two months and a half outside of the competition, and not only outside of the competition, outside the practice courts. I couldn't practise," the Spanish fourth seed said at Flushing Meadows on Friday.

Nadal, 30, said he was determined to give it a try in Rio and ended up feeling good enough to compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

"The motivation, the passion, sharing moments with the team helped a lot," said Nadal, who reached the Rio singles semi-finals and won gold in doubles with his friend Marc Lopez.   Continued...

Aug 18, 2016; Mason, OH, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) reacts against Borna Coric (CRO) on day six during the Western and Southern tennis tournament at Linder Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports