Last week we were thrilled Rafa had made it to the Olympics and got to carry the flag in the opening ceremony. I don't think many of us had particularly high expectations of any medals. It was just great that he had the opportunity to compete. How fantastic it was, therefore, that he made it to the semi finals in the singles.
He may not have come away with a medal (why doesn't tennis give the bronze to both losing semi finalists like they do in boxing?) but he left a lasting impression on quite a number of hardened journalists. As Jon Wertheim wrote on Twitter, "Whatever the opposite of "quitter" is, Nadal is the encapsulation..." and "Before he begins mandatory bed-rest, how about a protracted round of applause for Nadal? Can we all agree tennis is healthier when he is?"
But enough of singles. What was totally brilliant was Rafa winning the gold medal in doubles with his close friend, Marc Lopez. It was a fairytale result for him and his excitement at winning each match was a joy to behold.
Here are a few highlights.
Relatively low key on their way to beating Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer in the first round.
Pleased to beat Juan Martin Del Potro and Maximo Gonzales in round 2.
Getting a little more emotional after beating Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya.
Ecstatic to make the final by beating Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.
Total joy at winning the gold by beating Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau.
¡Enhorabuena, Rafa y Marc!