07/26/2012 02:54 EDT | Updated 09/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Roger Federer says playing at the 2016 Olympics is possible if his body holds up

LONDON - Roger Federer wants to play at the 2016 Olympics — if his body holds up long enough.

"There's so many moving parts," Federer, who turns 31 on Aug. 8, said Thursday. "They also have a role in this decision-making. But the mind still wants me to play, and I hope the body allows me to do it as well."

First up for the world No. 1 is the London Games, where he will try for his first Olympic gold medal in singles at Wimbledon, where he has won seven of his Grand Slam titles.

Federer's first match is against Colombian Alejandro Falla, who pushed him to five sets before losing in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010.

The Swiss star teamed with Stanislas Wawrinka to win doubles gold in 2008. His best finish in the singles competition was a fourth-place showing in Sydney in 2000.

But the London Olympics could be his best chance yet for gold as it is being played at the All England Club, where Federer won his 17th Grand Slam title a couple of weeks ago.

Federer will not have to face one of his toughest opponents in London. Defending Olympic champion Rafael Nadal of Spain withdrew last week, citing a lack of preparation.

Nadal returned to Spain after losing in the second round at Wimbledon to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol. He has not played since.

Nadal won the French Open a record seventh time earlier this year for his 11th Grand Slam title, but has struggled with left knee problems at times during the season.

Federer said he was "sad" Nadal, who has slipped to No. 3 in the world, wouldn't be competing in London.

"Because I'm sure he wanted to do that," he said. "I wish him a speedy recovery."

Second-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the bronze medallist at the Beijing games in 2008, was drawn in the same half as Wimbledon finalist Andy Murray of Great Britain, meaning the pair could meet in the semifinals. Djokovic plays Fabio Fognini of Italy in the first round, ahead of a possible second-round match against American Andy Roddick.

While Federer may be the favourite at the grass court venue, the best-of-three format up to the Olympic finals could prove troubling. The margins for error are smaller with shorter matches, he said.

"We know the danger of the early rounds," Federer said. "I think, hopefully, once I'm able to get going and get in full flight on the court I hope I can be the favourite or I am the favourite because usually that's when I do play better."