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Nadal to carry Spanish flag in opening ceremonies of London Olympics

Rafael Nadal, fresh off his men's singles championship at the French Open, was selected by Spanish officials in an announcement on Wednesday.

By Associated Press / June 20, 2012

Spain's Rafael Nadal prepares to return a ball during his match against Lukas Lacko from Slovakia, at the Gerry Weber Open, an ATP tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, June 14.

Joerg Sarbach/AP

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Moscow

Rafael Nadal will have the honor of carrying the flag for the Spanish Olympic team at the London Games.

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The 11-time Grand Slam champion was chosen on Wednesday by the Spanish Olympic Committee to lead the team at the opening ceremony on July 27.

"For me the chance to carry the flag representing all the Spanish athletes in London is a true honor," Nadal said in a statement. "I think carrying the flag will be one of the most moving moments of my entire career.

"I can only say thanks and wish my fellow athletes the best of luck."

Nadal will defend his gold medal in singles from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will also play in doubles with Marcel Granollers.

The Mallorca native is a national figure in Spain and arguably the best clay-court player of all time. Earlier this month, Nadal won the record seventh French Open title after beating top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the final.

The London Games will be Nadal's third Olympics.

The tennis events run from July 28 to Aug. 5 on Wimbledon's grass courts.

Last week, Russia's sports minister said French Open champion Maria Sharapova is among contenders to carry the Russian Olympic team flag at the London Games. Djokovic was also in line to lead Serbia's team in the opening ceremony.

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