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Rafael Nadal should be Opening Ceremony flag bearer, Spain Olympic chief says

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal of Spain changes his head band during his first round match against compatriot Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)


Rafael Nadal should carry Spain’s flag into the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony, but the nation’s flag bearer will be decided in March, Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco reportedly said in a video interview with Libertad Digital published Monday.

Nadal, the 2008 Olympic singles champion and a 14-time Grand Slam singles champion, was previously named Spain’s flag bearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony one month before those Games.

But Nadal withdrew from the 2012 Olympics one week before the Opening Ceremony for health reasons.

Nadal is ranked No. 5 in the world and has discussed playing doubles for Spain in Rio with countryman Fernando Verdasco, Verdasco said, according to Marca.

Rio Olympic tennis will be played on hard courts rather than Nadal’s preferred clay surface.

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