London, England, 20 July 2012 | Tennis Australia

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Olympic tennis event, with Associated Press reporting he is “not in condition” to compete.

Nadal, the defending Olympic gold medallist and announced as Spain’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony, said the decision was one of the toughest and saddest of his career.

His place in the draw will be taken by another Spanish player, with the decision as to who that will be to be made by Spain’s tennis federation.

Nadal last played at Wimbledon, where he was sensationally defeated in the second round by 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.