Nadal and Fer­rer in Rio, not wor­ried by Zika

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

For­mer No. 1 Rafael Nadal said he's not fright­ened by the Zika virus as he pre­pares in Brazil - the cen­tre of the vi­ral out­break - for this week's Rio Open ten­nis tour­na­ment and the city's Olympics in less than six months. Nadal won Olympic gold in Bei­jing Olympics, but missed Lon­don with an in­jury.

"I'm do­ing the things the peo­ple have told me," Nadal said. "I'm go­ing out at night. I'm not scared. I'm not wor­ried about this. If it hap­pens, it's bad luck."

Nadal is the top-seeded man in the tour­na­ment and fel­low Spa­niard David Fer­rer is No. 2. Both said they were con­fi­dent the tour­na­ment was do­ing all it could to con­trol the mos­qui­toes that spread the virus.

The virus is be­ing linked to birth de­fects, and preg­nant women have been cau­tioned not to travel to the coun­try.

"I don't know how se­ri­ous the sit­u­a­tion is," Nadal said. "I see peo­ple liv­ing here to­tally nor­mally. I see peo­ple on the streets, on the beach and in the restau­rants. Things are go­ing on like nor­mal." Brazil be­gan a week-long cam­paign of spray­ing pes­ti­cides and dis­tribut­ing in­for­ma­tional leaflets with more than 200,000 sol­diers spread out across the coun­try.

Brazil­ian Pres­i­dent Dilma Rouss­eff has said "we're at war against the mos­quito" and she has re­peat­edly guar­an­teed the out­break will not de­rail the Olympics that open on Au­gust 5.

Fer­rer said he'll wear long sleeves and long trousers when he goes out so­cially in the morn­ing and evening. "I'll try to take those pre­cau­tions, but I'm not ob­sessed about it," Fer­rer said.

Both Spa­niards were asked to re­ply to com­ments last week by Span­ish swim­mer Mireia Bel­monte, a two-time Olympic sil­ver medal­list in Lon­don in 2012, who said she "would not at­tend" the Olympics if she thinks her health is at risk.

She echoed Amer­i­can women's na­tional foot­ball goal­keeper Hope Solo, who said last week "if the Olympics were to­day, I would not go."

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