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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Rafa Nadal Bids Farewell to Madrid Tennis Fans

Wed 01 May 2024 | 03:30 PM
Rana Atef

On Tuesday, Tennis legend Rafael Nadal said farewell to fans at the Mutua Madrid Open, which he won five times during his grand career.

After losing his fourth-round and 2-hour battle to Jiri Lehecka shortly after midnight, the Spanish legend was feted with five banners marking the titles he won during a 10-year span between 2008-17 and a special trophy from tournament director Felicano Lopez.

It was his final time to dance on the clay courts of Madrid. 

Rafa said: “It’s been a very special week for me, very positive in many ways, both personally and for my tennis."

He added: “I had the chance to play again on court. A few weeks ago, two days before Barcelona, I didn’t know if I would compete in an official match again and I’ve now played two weeks. It’s been unforgettable.

“The only thing I can say is ‘thank you’. It’s been an incredible journey that started when I was little. I came to Madrid for the first time in 2003, when the tournament was played indoors. The first time I came here feeling competitive was in 2005. It was one of the most exciting wins of my career, still indoors. Ever since, the support has been unconditional from everyone. I cannot thank you enough.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do a hobby as my job, and to do it exceptionally well. I feel so lucky to have had all these experiences. I couldn’t ask for more. I hope I’ve set a positive example for the new generations. That’s the most important thing. Titles and sporting moments are exciting.”