Nadal supports Simone Biles’ decision to skip Olympics events : “If you don’t feel ready…”
20-time Grand Slam winner Nadal was the latest player to speak out in support of Simone Biles as he returns in Washington this week
20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has come out in support Simone Biles after the American gymnast pulled out of several events at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics citing mental health.
Nadal, who withdrew from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics due to injury, is returning to the tennis tour for the first time since his French Open semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at this week’s Citi Open in Washington.
Speaking to CBS Evening News, Nadal said he backs Biles’ decision 100% and that if she is not ready, she should not feel pressured to compete.
“If you don’t feel ready, you have been working so hard during all your life to achieve your dream. She achieved amazing things, and I am sure she will be back. But if in this moment she doesn’t feel ready, and why she has to do it?” Nadal said.
Biles, the most decorated American gymnast of all time, pulled out of several team and individual events in Tokyo in recent days, saying that she was not ready to compete and wanted to prioritize her mental health. Her statement came weeks after tennis star Naomi Osaka cited mental health concerns for not speaking to the media at the French Open, and then pulled out of the tournament following a wave of backlash for her stand.
BIles has stated since then that she will part in the balance beam final, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 3.
Nadal to make Washington debut against Sock on Wednesday
Nadal is the top seed at the Citi Open this week, and after a first-round bye, the Spaniard will face American Jack Sock in his Washington debut on Wednesday.
The Spaniard will be chasing his 21st Grand Salm singles title at the US Open, which begins later this month. Nadal is currently tied with rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for the record of most Grand Slam singles titles in men’s tennis.