09/25/2012 08:20 am ET

Rafael Nadal Plays Golf, May End Career At 2016 Rio Olympics

By Jonathan Scott,

Missing in action since Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal is yearned for in the Davis Cup final and World Tour Finals (yes, the WTFs) later this year. But that remains to be seen. For now, he's been "reduced" to a golfer, posting a photo to Facebook accompanied by the words, “Practicing the only sport that I can play according with the doctors.” Sad stuff for Rafanatics, who saw their man win four titles this year, including his record seventh French Open championship, and turn in a valiant Australian Open title-bout performance. But he will be back, and quite possibly better than ever.

Even so, at least one member of his camp did tell Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim recently that Nadal targets a 2016 Rio Olympic Games finale to his tennis career. True, he would be 30 years young then. Also true: Let's emphasize the word "target" in this case. It does not mean he will assuredly be done, as if such a decision is concrete four years ahead of its alleged deadline.

On a different plane, Victoria Azarenka didn't slow down after her U.S. Open final defeat at the powerful hands of Serena Williams. She and the oversaturated lead singer of LMFAO, Redfoo, apparently did shots on the heels of her loss. Azarenka served for the match at 5-4 in the final set against Serena, and surely she did need to drown her misery, having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It's a far cry from Andy Murray's response to, well, winning the U.S. Open. By the time he got to his team to celebrate properly in the wake of his own triumph, his friends were already so tipsy that he didn't see trying to catch up and didn't imbibe at that point at all. Ever the consummate professional now, that's Mr. Murray.

What's your standout memory from the 2012 U.S. Open tournament? Do the travails of Taylor Townsend stick out still, or did the pros take back the top storyline?

—Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9)



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