For the Spaniard, the country would have a better chance in the Olympic Games if the matches were held on clay.
From an article by Felipe de Oliveira in the Folha de S. Paulo (19 February 2015).
Tennis player Rafael Nadal said Wednesday that the surface chosen for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio would hinder Brazilian athletes.
In an interview with Folha, the Spaniard said that he was surprised by the fact that the country opted for hard courts rather than clay, which in theory would be unfavourable for the local players.
“I’m surprised that Brasil wanted that surface [hard court]. Look at history: Guga [Kuerten] was a great champion in clay especially.
It would be logical for it to be on clay. [Thomaz] Bellucci could even have final hopes; it would be more favourable for him.”
The choice of surface is made by the Organising Committee for Rio 2016 and by the International Tennis Federation.
According to Nadal, the English chose grass for the 2012 London Games to facilitate the performance of their players.
It was a success: the Brit Andy Murray won the Gold Medal.
“The type of surface can have an influence on performances, like at the London Games. We were in the middle of the
clay hard court(1) season at the time and had to play on another surface. Using logic would be ideal, but there are always other interests involved,” said Nadal.
The Spaniard, who is competing this week in the Rio tournament, is building a training centre named after him in Manacor, his home town. According to him, Brazil also needs to invest more in talent scouting and youth preparation.
“I don’t believe there’s a lack of talent in such a large country. That’s hard to imagine. I think it’s important to have good schools and training centres for the sport to develop more. We understand there can be highs and lows. Brazil has Bellucci today, but I think you should aspire to having more players,” said the world number 3, the title defender in Rio.
A fan of new technology, the Spaniard recently announce that he’s using a new racquet that can send information about shots in real time. “Everything that helps the sport evolve is valid.”
According to Nadal, 2015 will be a year of analysis and recuperation after injuries and the problems encountered last year—he was away from the tour for more than six months.
“I don’t know what I can accomplish. I’m happy with being at least able to return to the tour. I don’t know if I can win again and win more titles.”
Translated by Mark Nixon.
(1) Corrected from clay to hard court. Thank you to all who pointed it out.
Please use the comment section for suggestions about the translation; they’re appreciated.