Nadal Halfway to Second Singles Gold | NECN
2016 Rio Olympic Games

2016 Rio Olympic Games

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Nadal Halfway to Second Singles Gold



    Christopher Hanewinckel
    Rafael Nadal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

    Spain’s Rafael Nadal continued his singles hot streak by defeating France’s Simon Gilleson Thursday morning, after getting an unexpected day of rest due to weather. 

    Nadal was a little slower out of the gate in this third round match, with Gilles leading at first. The two played catch-up with one another until they reached a first set tiebreak. The Spaniard managed to clinch the tiebreak and the set, 7(7)-6(5).

    The second set, on the other hand, wasn't even close. After establishing a three-game lead, Nadal ultimately beat Gilles 6-3. The final score: 7(7)-6(5), 6-3. 

    The 14-time Grand Slam winner has now booked a quarterfinal match-up, against either Brazil’s unseeded Thomaz Bellucci or Belgium’s 8th-seeded David Goffin.

    Throughout, the world No. 5 utilized smart tactics and his typical aggressive style. But especially during the first set, he looked tired. In addition to singles, Nadal teamed with countryman Marc Lopez for 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4) victory over Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil of Canada on Thursday. 

    With the win over the Canadian duo, Nadal and Marc Lopez reached the men's doubles final. They will meet Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau of Romania, who beat Steve Johnson and Jack Sock of the U.S. 6-3, 7-5 on Thursday.

    Nestor and Pospisil play Johnson and Sock for the bronze. Pospisil and Sock won the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title together.

    However, Nadal pulled out of mixed doubles at the Olympics before playing his first-round match.

    The International Tennis Federation announced Nadal's withdrawal Thursday, when he was supposed to make his debut in that event for Spain at the Rio de Janeiro Games with Garbine Muguruza.

    The Olympics are Nadal's first competition in 2½ months. He had been sidelined with an injured left wrist.