To a standing ovation from the crowd, Rafael Nadal took his place alongside Marc Lopez at the top of the Rio 2016 podium as Olympic champion in the men’s doubles on Friday night (12 August), taking Spain’s third gold so far at the Games.
Nadal won the singles title at Beijing 2008, a feat he may yet repeat in Rio, should he first overcome Juan Martin del Potro in tomorrow’s semi-final. For now, he stands with Chile’s Nicolas Massu as the only man to have won Olympic gold in both events.
This evening’s final was a battle from start to finish. After two hours and 26 minutes, Nadal and Lopez finally overcame Mergea and Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
“I play with passion, with emotion and it’s a very special event; a unique event for everybody,” Nadal said after the match.