- Roland Garros misses Rafael Nadal, but the show went on | tennis.com
Casper Ruud: “My earliest memory of watching tennis is him (Nadal) winning his first Roland Garros. From there on—I was like six years old—I said to myself, ‘I always want to play tennis on TV one day’. That’s sort of where my dream to become a professional player started. . . It’s a little strange, but, you know, the tournament still goes on. No one is sort of bigger than the sport.”
- Carlos Alcaraz appreciates love and energy from ‘Rafael Nadal fans’ at French Open 2023 | sportskeeda.com
In the post-match press conference, a journalist informed Alcaraz about numerous Nadal fans getting behind the junior Spaniard. The 20-year-old stated that he didn’t know about the Mallorcan’s fans, but was glad to receive the support of so many people.
“Well, yeah, I feel the love from the people. You know, I don’t know if they are the Rafael Nadal fans or not, but I felt the energy from the crowd. I felt the love, you know, and it was great to feel that,” Carlos Alcaraz said.
- Rafael Nadal Was the Immovable Object | GQ
Here are some body parts that Rafael Nadal has torn: his hamstrings, and his quadriceps. His left patellar tendon, abdomen, and left costal arch. His abdomen again. He’s dealt with tendinitis, arthritis, and repeated issues with both wrists. He has hip problems. Last year, at Indian Wells, he broke a rib midway through his semifinal match. He won that match, and then went out and played the final. “I could barely breathe but I decided to play the final because they told me it was probably a muscle spasm,” he said afterward. Normal stuff.
The body always wins. Even after that win at Wimbledon in 2008, there were questions about how well Nadal’s knees would hold up. He was 22. My old colleague Jon Wertheim wondered at the time whether he’d be “sufficiently healthy to play at this level for many more years.”Evidently, no matter the pain he’s been in for the last 15 years, he’s been able to play major-winning-level tennis. Perhaps until now.
There is a statue of Nadal at the entrance of the Stade Roland Garros. That it was revealed in 2021 should highlight just how unusual Nadal’s competitive relationship with the tournament is: not only was he still active when he was memorialized, he went out and won the tournament again the year after he received, basically, a lifetime achievement award. It is about nine feet tall and made of steel, capturing Nadal as he wails on a forehand, both feet off the ground. To support this pose, a series of metal cables hold his form afloat. His metallic body is full of holes, and still, he is striking.
VIDEO: Nole wants a “friendly relationship” with Rafa
“I saw him more than I’ve seen my parents in the last 20 years. We’ve shared the stage for so long, there’s this connection. Even though we’re rivals and haven’t spent too much time privately, we could have developed a friendly relationship which I hope we will after our careers but he’s still such an integral part of my career and who I am as a player and a person. So I’m really grateful for all the matches that we had here and throughout our careers and our rivalry.”
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