Rafael Nadal (Getty)
Rio de Janeiro - Rafael Nadal banished talk
over the state of his left wrist Sunday, opting instead to focus on the
"unforgettable experience" of taking part in the Olympics after being
forced to sit out the 2012 Games.
Playing his first match in two months, the
14-time major winner coasted into the second round with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1
win over Federico Delbonis of Argentina.
Nadal, sidelined by a left wrist tendon
injury since the French Open, showed no signs of the problem which also kept
him from Wimbledon as he set up a clash with Italy's Andreas Seppi.
"The wrist is not perfect but I don't
want to talk about it anymore during the tournament," said Nadal, who
missed the London Olympics with a knee injury.
"It is how it is. It needs more time.
If this wasn't the Olympic Games then I would not be here competing."
Nadal carried the Spain flag at Friday's
opening ceremony, having had to cede the honour to basketball star Pau Gasol in
London four years ago.
"This is an unforgettable experience.
I missed London and I came close to missing this one too," said Nadal who
has a heavy workload in Rio.
As well as bidding for a second singles
gold to add to his 2008 triumph in Beijing, Nadal is playing doubles with Marc
Lopez and mixed with French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.
"Carrying the flag will stay in my
mind for the rest of my life, so thanks to all the people who thought I would
be the best man.
"Not going to London was one of the
toughest decisions of my career, but being here is something great. The
Olympics is the highest thing in sport."
Despite his joy at making the next round,
Nadal was less than pleased about the playing conditions on Court One,
insisting that the electronic scoreboard was making it difficult to see.
Nadal even complained to umpire Carlos
Ramos that it was hard to spot the ball, especially in the gloomy conditions of
the Barra tennis centre.
"We cannot play," he said to the
He added later: "The screen was in the
middle of the arena and when my opponent hit the ball in this region, I
couldn't see it.
"The low intensity light is a bad
idea. The International Tennis Federation should forget it.
"We can't play like that, it is the
Nadal will start his second round clash
against Seppi as the overwhelming favourite having won six of their seven
Seppi's only win came in Rotterdam in 2008.