Rafa Roundup: Nadal pays a beautiful tribute to Serena Williams in the wake of her retirement news

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Lotte New York Palace

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“Plenty of memories,” Nadal said, smiling, before Williams’s imminent retirement from the game. “She is one of the greatest sports [people] of all time. I feel lucky to share a tour for a long period of time with her.

“Of course, from a selfish point of view it’s sad that she’s leaving the tour but, on the other hand, we can’t thank her enough for all the things that she did for our sport.”

The Spaniard added: “I think she’s an amazing inspiration for a lot of people around the world and I think she deserves to choose whatever works for her better at this stage off her life. So I wish her all the best.”

“It means a lot to me to have that opportunity [to rise to No. 1]. Something that I didn’t expect could happen again. The main thing is to stay healthy and play the events that I want to play,” Nadal said in his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “I will not play more than what I believe works well for my body.

“I am going to put all my efforts into every single event I play. It is something that doesn’t matter if I have the chance to be No. 1, but I am happy to be in this position and if it happens, I will be very happy.”

Nadal is making his return this week at the Cincinnati Masters as he prepares for the US Open, but will not make a first Davis Cup appearance since winning the tournament for the fifth time with Spain in 2019.

Spain will instead be looking to teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz for inspiration.

Sergi Bruguera’s team will face Canada, Serbia and South Korea in Group B which is being staged in Valencia from September 13-18.

On this day, August 15, 2004, in Sopot, Rafael Nadal, 18 years old at the time and already famous for having defeated Roger Federer in Miami a few months before, claimed the first title of his young career. Nadal would raise the trophy on his preferred clay, defeating Jose Acasuso in the final (6-3, 6-4).

Less than a year after this first success, the Spaniard would win a much more important clay-court tournament: Roland-Garros.

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal Will Return In Cincinnati

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8 comments

  1. When u bless others , God blesses you. Rafa I Just admire your determination. You have a God given talent..stayed humble and kind. Your on court behaviour is what the young players should follow. Thank You for NEVER being a “show pony” and for the joy and inspiration you have afforded millions of people. May God bless you and your beautiful wife in everything you do. You are IN EVERY WAY the
    absolute GOAT!!!!

  2. God’s mighty arm, power and strength be upon you, Rafa for Championship in Cincinnati. God’s favor and blessing for your match. Join your Match as I pray tomorrow….Be strong, confident, determine, mental strength/power and resilient to Win ALL Matches. Amen SHALOM 3

    • I’m sure that Serena feels the same way about Rafa! See how happy Sloan Stivan looks getting a picture with RAFA! Never have been a fan of Serena’s but there is no doubt she is the female tennis phenomena just like Rafa! Best of luck to Serena… she looks so happy with her beautiful little girl & her husband!

  3. I just love Rafa’s simple, honest and realistic approach to his tennis and life in general. He’s so adorable. A wonderful, heartfelt tribute to Serena as well. Very classy!
    Good luck to our fabulous champ, Rafa, in Cinci and the USO.

  4. Thank you for all the hard work you have put into tennis to inspire the younger generations !

    👩🏻- – – – – – – {{this is me but much older now}}
    I’m 67 years old now and have been following your success for years!!!

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