Rio 2016: ‘Crazy’ tennis star playing in seventh Olympics, ‘not the person to wear a gold medal’
Javier Fernandez, the Argentine tennis star who will play in the Rio 2016 Games, says he’s happy to be here.
“I hope to show the world that as a tennis player, I am the person who deserves to wear a gold medal and get into a final in a big event where, at that point, the person that wears the gold medal is the winner and not the person that just comes here trying to show out of form because I’m sick,” he said.
For Fernandez, it’s about “making history” to represent his country in the Olympic Games for the first time in 12 years, having had to drop out during the qualifying tournament in 2012 due to an illness. Instead he chose the British Open — one of the most prestigious events in the game — after a string of performances including reaching the quarterfinals.
“I had the opportunity to compete in the Wimbledon last year and was happy, but I didn’t have the opportunity to compete in the Grand Slam events last year and had to give-up that opportunity,” Fernandez said.
“When I came here to practice, it was a completely different feeling. I am playing for my country and I am playing to win, but at the same time every person will have their own goals and it’s not right to say I’m here for the Olympics, I’m here to be the best that I can be.
“I’m here to win. If I was here there wouldn’t have been people who came here to cheer for me, and it wouldn’t be me who came to support me like I came to support my country.”
Fernandez said the Olympic Games “are the biggest thing in my life because I can be the best player that I want to be, I can be the tennis player, the best tennis player that I can be.
“It’s going to be amazing to compete in the Olympics and bring everyone along with me.”
What will happen with Fernandez in Rio has already been decided, but his wife, the former