• London Olympics 2012

Nadal pulls out of London 2012

ESPN staff
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Rafael Nadal will not defend the title he won in Beijing © Getty Images
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Rafael Nadal has pulled out of London 2012 because he says he is not fit enough to defend his Olympic title.

The reigning singles champion will not defend the title he won four years ago in Beijing, declaring himself "not in condition" to compete at the All England Club.

The 26-year-old, holder of 11 grand slams, is struggling with tendinitis of the knee. He said: "I do not find myself in a condition to compete. It is one of the saddest moments of my career."

Nadal, who has not played since he suffered a shock second-round defeat at the hands of little-known Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon, was set to be the flag bearer for Spain during the opening ceremony.

"I've waited until the final moment of my preparation and my training, but I cannot do it," he added. "Carrying the flag for Spain at the opening ceremony was set to be one of the biggest honours, one of the most special moments for me. For this reason I hope you can understand how difficult it has been for me to take this decision.

"I have to think about my team-mates, I cannot be an egotist and think about myself here. I have to think about Spanish sport, and that one of my team-mates who is better prepared than me can take my place and compete to the best of his ability."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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