Meeting Rafael Nadal is a treat: A fan’s letter

A couple of days ago, a reader wrote to us expressing how much she enjoyed meeting Rafa in Miami and how significant it was to her family. We thought it was a lovely note and must be shared. So, with her blessings, here it is, just as she wrote it. 

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I wanted to write and say, there is no one like RAFA NADAL…no one. My house stops when he is playing. He is the ultimate MENSCH. There isn’t a better sports idol for the younger generation to look up to, not just in tennis, but any sport!

Trying to mind his own business, going out to dinner in Miami during his recent appearance at the SONY, he literally ran into my family leaving the restaurant ZUMA. I’m sure it meant nothing to him but it meant the world to us. KIND is an understatement. In my broken Spanish I tried to explained it was my 25th wedding anniversary and that my youngest son is probably his biggest fan.

Not just a celebration for my husband and myself, like most anniversaries, this was a huge celebration. (My eldest son [was] flying in for dinner.) Back in January my husband was extremely ill, and it’s nothing shy of a medical miracle that he is alive today. It was a huge medical scare for him and all of us. Thank G-d he made it to celebrate this day. He always does fun things to surprise me in life and when he noticed Rafa walking toward us into the restaurant, we all stopped in shock, about to take a family picture outside the restaurant. It was the perfect ending to our celebration and night. We are a huge tennis fans…but more than that…RAFA FANS! After posting this picture my friends actually thought my husband planned this to surprise me. THAT’S how much we love Rafa! As you can see my youngest was in such shock, but quickly got it together for the second picture. That’s right, he didn’t take one, but took the time to take 2 pictures with us, with his team urging him to “come this will be impossible” [but] he said “its ok, one more”…so very typical of this wonderful person.

I just wish he knew how much he completed our night and much needed celebration of not just our 25th anniversary but our celebration of LIFE.

I wanted to say “thank you” Rafa…you are NUMERO UNO in all our hearts! VAMOS and best of luck for the rest of the season.

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A big thank you, Ma’am, for allowing us to share your story, we’re so happy for you. And as always, Vamos Rafa! 

23 comments

  1. I have watch you, Nadal for many years. You are a wonderful human being. An athlete that young and old can admire and pattern themselves after. Things are quite rough for you right now but they are going to be better soon. I have been praying for your confidence to return. It will because you are strong, your game is top notch. Your fans have confidence in you and we love ❤ you. When you start to feel anguish, read Psalms 23, read it before each game and after each game, let nothing get in the way. It has helped me with so many things, I will continue to pray that God will give you the desires of your heart

  2. Taking the time to meet with fans shows one thing. You understand the strength of their support in helping you to be the great and special human being that you are. The fans are really your food and water. You supply the tennis and the energy. Empty tennis stadiums reveal an empty spirit. Packed tennis stadiums are for people with huge hearts and incredible spirits that everyone wants to be a part of. The packed tennis stadiums you bring to every city you go to means goodness and prosperity for everyone involved.

  3. Respecto a Rafa está y queda todo dicho=Sin Palabras y que conste, no es un chiste El Número Uno vive y está en lo deportivo y benéfico con y entre nosotros y te llevamos cómo a el gran deportista en los corazones, de los que cómo a ti es mas el gusto que el disgusto por el tenis. Nuestro mejor Embajador, engrandeciendo el buen nombre de “E s p a ñ a” por doquier. En Canarias te tenemos muy presente y te seguimos día a día. Abrazos de C. Javier

  4. I had a similar experience with Rafa
    He is just the nicest guy ever! Btw..correction: I am his #1fan!!!!!!

  5. I’m one of Rafa biggest fan and my son know how much I want to meet him and see him play so he bought the whole season ticket for me to see Rafa this year at Roger’s centre and I’m praying everyday that he is healthy to come and play.I love Rafa as is if he’s my own son. when he lose I can’t recuperate his loss,Waiting to meet dear Rafa. Love from Toronto

  6. That fan’s letter reminds me of something Rafa said in an interview about a year ago. He was asked how he maintains his humility and modesty after all of the success, wealth and fame he’s achieved. Doesn’t that make him feel “special”? Without batting an eye, Rafa said, “No, I’ve never felt special – maybe I have special tennis abilities, but as a person, I am not special, I’m just a regular guy, not better or worse than anyone else.”

    I’ve been following professional sports for decades. Tennis, golf, football(American), basketball, baseball, hockey, you name it. I’ve never seen a superstar in any sport as genuinely humble, gracious and classy as Rafa is. Not even close. He also has a tremendous natural charisma which draws people to the sport. The popularity of tennis has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, and Rafa, IMHO, is the number one reason why. When he retires from the game – hopefully not any time soon – he will be sorely, sorely, sorely missed.

    • This is so true!!! I could not have said this better myself!!! Rafa is such a tremendous blessing to everyone who loves the sport of tennis, and more importantly, the love of life!!! We can all learn so much by this incredibly, remarkable, talented, humble man!!! A true champion in every aspect of his life!!! I’m so blessed to be able to be a fan of Rafa’s & learn so very much from him!!! He is one of a kind!!! The BEST!!! We wish you many years of good health & happiness!!! We love you Rafa!!!

  7. Rafael is such a wonderful, humble, respectful man!! He is an inspiration to so many people of all ages!! He is a true champion, on and off of the court!! We love you Rafa!! We wish you the best of luck always!! VAMOS RAFA!! 🙂

  8. I am a huge Rafa fan and these testimonials that I have been reading just reminds me of why I love him so much, he is how can I say it a awesome human being. Vamooooooooos Rafa.!

  9. Felicidades a toda tu familia por tan bonita experiencia! Yo también lo acabo de conocer en Palm Springs y fue lo máximo para mi, estaba triste porque acababa de verlo perder y luego encontrármelo en el Nobu y tomarme la foto con el, todo lindo y amable!

  10. Querido Rafa como siempre demuestras tu lado humano y buen corazon que tienes,yo empeze a seguirte por mi hijo Eduardo que te ama y siempre esta al pendiente de tus juegos. Me da mucho gusto que compartas tu tiempo con tus fans que nunca te dejaran, tu tenacidad, esfuerzo y lucha demuestran y dan un ejemplo que si quieres algo lo puedes tener, solo lucha por el. Suerte en lo siguiente eres el Campeon !!!!

  11. Bravo for Rafa…Such a beautiful person inside and out..His parents did a good job bringing him up!!

  12. A small gesture can be so huge for someone else. Rafa was meant to be there that night to give a bit of happiness to this lovely family. Best wishes family.

    • Very true. Small gesture it may be but it was a whole lot of happiness for this wonderful family. As fans of Rafa, we all understand the feeling of the members of the family upon chance meeting Rafa and obliging them with that precious photo ops on that momentous occasion. Was Rafa Godsent or what? Best wishes to the family, indeed. May you have many many more reasons to celebrate — like the 9th French Open title for Rafa this year! Now, my co-Rafaholic Yin, please join me in shouting out “Vamos Rafa!”

  13. As I read this letter from a fan, I was thinking that Rafa has been my lifeline in the last few months. I have always loved him as a player, sportsman and a real ambassador for sport with his humbleness whether he wins or loses, but in December last year I lost my gorgeous husband of 10 years to lung cancer. Following Rafa in facebook and hearing of his exploits on and off court is the one thing that has really kept me going, and I would like to wish him every happiness and success in his career and personal life in the future. Thank you Rafa xx.

    • I’m sorry to hear that, Anne. It is heartening to hear that Rafa is somewhat of a respite. Thank you for sharing this with us. I wish you the very best.

      • These comments, along with Rafa’s incredibly blessed talents, are just some of the reasons why he is so special to me and to others. The great sport of tennis is truly blessed to have Rafael Nadal as one of its ambassadors!!!!

    • Hang on, dear Anne. I am likewise sorry to hear of your lost, Appreciate your effort of moving on with life — through following the fantastic talent, courage and humility in action of our idol- Rafa. Rafa inspires a lot of us and I hope he continue to do so. Warm regards.

    • Hi Anne,
      My condolences to you. Hoping and praying that your fond memories of your late husband and RAFA help you get thru this time. There is a lot of great tennis to watch. I know it fills my days! Best wishes to you and Rafa…may we all emerge stronger!

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