Team Spain are always one of the biggest challengers at the Olympics stage, across sports. In fact, Spain has been one of the top teams in the last 15 years to have fought and won medals in tennis.
Their success can be largely ascribed to the presence and influence of former World No.1 Rafael Nadal. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has single-handedly won his country a couple of medals in the last three Olympics games.
Nadal set the tone for Spain by winning the Gold medal in the 2008 Beijing games and then repeated his success with partner Marc Lopez in Rio in 2016, by winning Gold in the men’s doubles event.
Unfortunately, the King of Clay opted out of the ongoing Tokyo games, due to cramped schedule and the pandemic. Therefore, it is understandable that the Spaniards will feel a bit undercooked without Nadal’s company.
Countryman and ATP player Pablo Carreno Busta too opined that the absence of Nadal is felt in the camp, but also acknowledged the fact that Spain has “a great team” players that “maybe up”.
“With Rafa there are always more medal options, but he is not there and we must forget about it, focus each one on their matches and in any case we have a great team, we have players who can be at the top, so to support and focus on who have come,” explained the 30-year-old at a press conference in Tokyo.
Pablo Carreno Busta and Garbine Muguruza to carry Spain’s hopes
Pablo Carreno Busta will take on American Tennys Sandgren in the first round on Court 1 of the Ariake Tennis Park. Given the current ranking and experience, expect the Spaniard to come out on top in this clash.
At the moment, barring Busta and Davidovich Fokina in the men’s category, Spain has also the likes of Garbine Muguruza and Suarez Navarro playing in the ladies section.