Nadal: 'It's a dream to win for my country'

Rafael Nadal is just the fourth player to win gold in Olympic singles and doubles after Serena and Venus Williams and Chile's Nicolas Massu.

Rafael Nadal won his second Olympic gold medal.   -  Reuters

Rafael Nadal described his second Olympic gold as "unforgettable" after marking his return from his latest injury misery by partnering close friend Marc Lopez to the men's doubles title in Rio.

The 30-year-old Spaniard added the 2016 doubles crown to his 2008 singles gold in Beijing by defeating Romania's Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 4-6.

Nadal is just the fourth player to win gold in Olympic singles and doubles after Serena and Venus Williams and Chile's Nicolas Massu.

The former world number one and holder of 14 Grand Slam titles was playing his first tournament since May when a wrist injury forced an early retirement from the French Open.

"It was an amazing experience, especially doing it with one of my best friends, with Marc, it's something unforgettable for me, for both of us," said Nadal.

"To win a gold medal after two months and a half with no practice, with no preparation, just working in the gym, is something that is a dream.

"The moment was unbelievable, and we had fun. We fight hard."

Nadal's participation in the Olympics was in doubt until the last minute but now he has one gold and the prospect of another in the men's singles where he's reached the semi-finals.

Earlier Friday, he defeated Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 for his 800th career singles win.

He will face Juan Martţn Del Potro of Argentina on Saturday for a place in the championship match.

"It's a dream to win for my country. I didn't come here just to carry the flag at the opening ceremony," added Nadal.