Rafael Nadal (Getty)
Cape Town - Rafa Nadal and Marc Lopez won gold for Spain in the Olympic men's doubles event and the Spaniard insists his intention was never just to travel to Rio as a flag bearer.
The 30-year-old carried Spain's flag in the opening ceremony at the Maracanã.
Nadal and Lopez then defeated Romania's Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in a rollercoaster final on Saturday.
The former world number one had arrived in Brazil unsure if he would even compete because of a wrist injury but victory in the doubles now puts him in with a chance of claiming two medals- Nadal faces Kei Nishikori in the bronze medal match on Sunday.
"It was an amazing experience, especially doing it with one of my best friends, with Marc, it's something unforgettable for me, for both of us," said Nadal after his doubles triumph.
"To win a gold medal after two months and a half with no practice, with no preparation, just working in the gym, is something that is a dream.
"The moment was unbelievable, and we had fun. We fight hard.
"It's a dream to win for my country. I didn't come here just to carry the flag at the opening ceremony."