VIDEO: Rafael Nadal’s incredibly humble speech in London

The full text of Rafael Nadal’s speech after lifting the year end number one trophy.

First of all, thanks Chris for everything. It’s a real honour receive this trophy from you so many thanks for all the things that you did well for our sport.

Honestly, what can I say? I am super happy. Honestly, after all the things that I went through in my career in terms of injuries, I never thought at the age of 33 and a half that I will have this trophy in my hands again. So, it’s something really, really emotional for me. A lot of work on the shadows to be where we are today and without all my team and family that is here with me, this thing would be impossible. So I can just say thank you very much everybody for the support.

Have been some bad moments and you have been always there, so… Honestly, like this year for example, after Monte Carlo [note: Nadal considered momentarily stepping away from competition after the constant injuries broke his confidence], after the support of all these people who are here to my left, things will be much different for me this year. They encouraged me to keep going and I can’t thank them enough. Thank you very much.

Well, to all the fans and all the ATP staff… I’m gonna start with the ATP staff. We have a great tour. All the workers make us feel great every single week all around the world. So many thanks to all the people who work on the ATP and make the players and the fans enjoy a great tour so many thanks everybody in the ATP tour. Thank you.

It’s a little bit heavy! [Nadal had been carrying the huge trophy, then he put it down.]

Last thing, this trophy is an achievement all around for the whole year. So personally today I can’t thank enough to all of you for the support on this personal match and all the time that I have been playing here in London. But at the same time I have to say, because it’s something that I really feel from the bottom of my heart, to all the fans all around the world that give me their support every single week that I am playing, no? It’s very difficult to describe the feeling when you are on court. When you walk on and you feel the support and the love from that many people. So just thank you very much everybody from all around.

Of course, all the sponsors, all the people who believe in our sport. Thank you very much. We try to make the things the best way possible and I hope all the sponsors are happy with our sport. Thank you very much for supporting our sport.

And, well, guys, I don’t know if I see you tomorrow because it depends on the match in the afternoon! But I did all the things I could today. I fighted until the end: Two days ago, today. So, if I am able to play in front of you against Roger, it will be a huge honor. If not, I really hope to see you next year.

Source: The Guardian


  1. I empathized with Rafa when he recently expressed his desire to be equal to Roger and Djokovic. I have always felt Rafa is better in more ways than one.

    Only after reviewing the list of winners of the title did I realize exactly what Rafa was referring to; equal with five year-end world No. 1 titles. This is a TREMENDOUS recognition of his hard work all year, overcoming injuries and despondency. This is one year that Rafa is not home recuperating from an injury, or preparing for surgery.

    As Rafa is prone to do, he put the spotlight on others. It wasn’t about him but about everyone who helped him get to where he is. Beautiful acceptance speech.

    I was happy he included Chris Kermode in his remarks. He will most likely miss him a lot when his contract expires.




  2. His parents did a great job instilling Rafa’s attributes, but don’t forget Uncle Tony, who worked with Rafa for years and helped mold his attitude and behavior as wells as his tennis skills.

  3. Yesterday evening I decided to buy a ticket to see Rafa play today at the O2. I found out during my journey this morning that Rafa would receive the Number 1 trophy immediately after the match.

    It was wonderful to watch him play (closest view I’ve had) and of course great to see him win! But it was a really special moment for me as a fan to see and hear him accept the YE#1 trophy. Rafa making tennis history, again. What a great day! Thank YOU Rafa!

  4. Sweet, sweet Rafa, What a moving speech – an epitome of humility! My happiness knows no bounds on your double success! 👍👍💪💪💪.
    Another thing that I was very impressed with and extremely happy 😃 to see was your aggressive display and obvious desire to win. I know you always want to win but today I could see it in your behaviour and aggressiveness. This is what your fans always want ….. just wonderful to watch. Keep it up champion.
    Your display at the net was also superb. It was one of the things that attracted me to you one of the first times I saw you play.

    I wish you all the very best of health and luck in all your future matches. May all of us fans have the chance to watch you play for many more years to come!!’

    Rest well dear champ! You deserve to win and to be world number 1 in every way.

    God bless and VAMOS!!


  5. It is so difficult to express your thoughts and feelings in a second or third language. Rafa’s English has improved immensely since he began his professional career. His speech today displayed his respect and passion for tennis, for his family, and worldwide fans. While his humility and patience on and off the court have always been amazing, make no mistake-it is how he has “fighted” that keeps drawing us back. If you are lucky enough to be in the stadium when he is in beast mode, you have witnessed it. The stadium is so silent, while the fans are mesmerized and breathless. When he kept fighting back in the US Open, you knew nothing was going to stop him. For sure he suffered to win. That is Rafa. There is no match for that mental fortitude. So World Number 1…….enjoy and savour this time.👏💪👍🤛🥇🎾❤️At 331/2, you are still dangerous and dazzling us😱🥵😜🙏

  6. Medvedev has lost, so Rafa is out. I’m sorry that Rafa didn’t make it to the semis tomorrow, but that’s the cut and thrust nature of the round robin format.
    You did all you could, Rafa. Now relax a little before preparing for Davis Cup duty. All the best champ.

  7. Beautiful acceptance speech from Rafa. His sweet words came through. It expresses his happiness and thanks to all involved in helping him through the worst of times.

    It also expresses the love he has for his”job.” His happiness in still being able to play.

    Rafa said some weeks ago that being world No. 1 is EXTRA SPECIAL when he achieves it by playing a tournament. Well that’s what Rafa did. He achieved it on his own terms. He played Paris and now the WTF.

    And there’s something else. He also won YEAR-END WORLD NUMBER 1, as we all know. A DOUBLE JOY FOR RAFA.


    • Medvedev smartly ‘tanked’ the match – what with those ridiculous challenges at the 2nd set tie-break and smiling to himself.

      Yeah the guy tanked the match!!!! He should be fined!!!! His body language says it all!!!

      But, as always we go step by step, day by days

      • Did he really tank it? I didn’t watch the match but yesterday I said to myself I hope he doesn’t lose on purpose.

        The media was putting out the storyline that Medvedev would want to save his reputation and would win because losing all three round-Robbins would be a disgrace.

        On the other hand, Medvedev was playing non-stop tennis and it’s a surprise he isn’t injured.

        Me, I’m thrilled Rafa won best player of the year title.

      • I agreed, everyone won at least one match except him. I didn’t watch the match either, I only get up in the middle of the night to watch Rafa normally. I think Medvedev wanted to win but perhaps Alex played a bit better, seems like it was another close match?

        Rafa didn’t make the semis but what an outstanding achievement, ending the year as world no. 1 for the fifth time👏 the same as Federer and Djoker😁

  8. It was overall a lovely speech but am sad that he didn’t thank Maria Francisca. Usually we can assume that he includes her when he mentions family but today he specifically said family that is here which she wasn’t. Any thoughts on this?

    • RR,

      We knew Maria was with Rafa before the tournament but I didn’t see her in his box during all three matches. She probably had a very good reason for not showing up. Maybe it sounded like he didn’t include Maria in his “thank you” speech but I think it was not his intention. Maria is the ❤️ of his life, one of the three most important ladies supporting him!

      Rafa and Maria are both shy but it would be sweet when one day during an on court interview, we can hear him thanking Maria as his wife for the first time💞 maybe at the Australian Open?

      Love Rafa and Maria❤️❤️

      • Thanks for your input Margo.
        She handed out the medals to the Special Olympians on Sunday at the Academy. Not doubting that she had some important work to do there.
        In a Tennis Channel interview last week he said how great the wedding was for him and for his wife. So adorable to hear him use that word for the first time.
        Wishing him well if he plays the Davis Cup and all the very best to both of them for the rest of this year.

      • Oh dear Mimi. Sincerest apologies to you.🌷Had just read Margo’s comment and had her name on my mind.

      • RR,

        No worries. Thanks for the news about Maria.🙏 How lovely, it was special the first time. I will look for the interview.

        All the best to Rafa!❤️

  9. Pure class, as always. Rafa is a champion on the court and – much more important – a lovely and respectful man off the court.

  10. Thank you Rafa! You are first of all an amazing tennis player. Your net shots today were so perfect! Most of all Rafa, you represent to me a true gentleman. Respect is the word that I put by your name.
    See you tomorrow for sure.
    Vamos Rafa!

  11. Rafa is so endearing. The humble way he expresses himself makes him so adorable.
    What a lovely, genuine, heartfelt speech. I was so moved by his words. His respect for others, his love and appreciation for tennis, for his fans and family was expressed so sincerely in his speech.
    I just love all the things he stands for and i’m so proud to be a Rafa fan. Rafa is a winner, whether or not l see him play tomorrow, but l certain hope l do.

    • I’m crying. Thank you for your heartfelt comments. So perfect on behalf of our darling Rafa!!! (I missed the whole thing but read his speech here (thankfully it is here). Surely they will show it all later!

      • Thanks DG. We share the passion that is Rafa. You’ll certainly be able to see a replay of the match.

  12. Tous tes fans t’aiment très fort , Rafa ! Tu te bats toujours jusqu’à la dernière balle avec la même grinta ; tu l’as encore prouvé aujourd’hui ; c’est pour tous ces super moments que je suis fan depuis lAO 2005 ; VAMOS champion

  13. I love Rafa for dozens of reasons, but one of them is the way he says “fighted”!!

    I don’t know if anyone on his team has told him the correct word, but I’m glad he sticks with “fighted”. It sums up his whole attitude.

    • I am in your corner, Michele. And “fighted” may and should now be allowed by I don’t know, linguistic experts?

      I fell in love with Rafa’s tennis skills which seems like light-years ago….and now this, today, his heartfelt words…..I have no words…..for the great humble human being that he has become….

      I thank the Supreme Being for creating Rafa’s spiritual aspect as well as his ancestors and his parents for the physical aspect.

      Rafa will always be there for me, to emulate, to admire and count myself lucky to witness wholistic greatness.

      • Julieta, I’m glad you mentioned Rafa’s parents. His autobiography shows how much his values/behavior come from the way his parents brought him up, and he acknowledges that. Imo, he would have always turned out to be a wonderful human being, but he also had just the right parents to nurture him.

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