Rafael Nadal has thrown his support behind Simone Biles ahead of her return to the Olympics.
Nadal, an Olympic gold medalist, said he “completely” understood the American gymnast’s decision to withdraw from various Tokyo 2020 contests.
Rafael Nadal has publicly expressed his support for Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from a number of Olympic competitions. After suffering from the “twisties,” the gymnast withdrew from the team final and many women’s solo finals. The Olympic gold medalist in men’s tennis from Beijing 2008 has recently stated that he “100% ” appreciates her decision.
Following his shock Roland Garros loss to Novak Djokovic, the Spaniard decided not to travel to Tokyo for this year’s games, subsequently announcing that he was unable to play for 20 days due to a foot ailment.
Nadal returns to the tour in Washington for the first time since his loss at the French Open.
The world number three told CBS Evening News ahead of his first match at the Citi Open that he supported the Olympic gymnast’s choice to withdraw from numerous events.
“Yes, 100 percent,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion responded when asked if he respected Biles for withdrawing and igniting a dialogue about mental health in sports.
“If you don’t feel ready, remember that you’ve been working so hard your whole life to attain your dream,” he continued. She accomplished incredible things, and I am confident she will return.
“But why should she do it if she doesn’t feel ready right now?”
Nadal, an Olympic gold medalist in both singles and doubles, appears to have been correct, as the 24-year-old returned to competition on the balance beam today (August 3) and took bronze.
She confessed that she had been suffering from the “twisties” after withdrawing from the team final last week. The “twisties” is a state of disassociation between the mind and body that prevents athletes from performing successfully, potentially resulting in catastrophic damage.
Djokovic’s outburst in Tokyo prompted the 35-year-old tennis star to respond, with the Serb hurling a racket into the empty stands during his bronze medal match.
The world number one was favored to win gold at this year’s Olympics and achieve the elusive Golden Slam of winning all four Majors and Olympic gold in the same calendar year.
He missed out on the final after losing a set and a break against Alexander Zverev in the semi-final. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”