Nadal says goodbye in Madrid wishing he had been “an example for young people”

Nadal says goodbye in Madrid wishing he had been “an example for young people”
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Rafael Nadal He continues step by step approaching an inevitable withdrawal that his body is not letting him be as he would like. And his farewell in Madrid has been emotional, after fall in the round of 16 against the Czech Jiri Lehecka (5-7 and 4-6), in which despite the defeat, it has been one of their best games since their return this season.

When, with 5-4 down in the second set, Nadal prepared to subtract, the venue went crazy with the cry of ‘yes we can’. And although it wasn’t, when the Balearic player sent the ball out to end the game, the Caja Mágica chanted the traditional ‘Raaaafa, Raaaafa’ and prepared for what everyone expected, a tribute.

So it was. With the court decorated with the five titles that Nadal has achieved in Madrid and videos of his greatest moments shown in the Caja Mágica, the Manacorí took the floor to joke with a threat of returning next year: “It was a joke, I’ll be back next year…”.

However, the joke was just that, a joke. Because despite highlighting that it is not yet his retirement, Nadal has pointed out that it was his last match in the tournament in the Spanish capital: “The body has given me signs that this day had to come and I’m glad I was able to do it on the track. The story is not over, but here in Madrid it is the last time“.

“It has been a very special week for me, I have had the opportunity to play again on this court, which has given me so much. Honestly, the only thing I can do is say thank you. The journey began when I was very little and since then The support has been unconditional,” he stated.

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Of course, Nadal wanted to avoid tears by highlighting again that his retirement is still a little further away: “I was excited inside, I was close to getting more excited but I didn’t want a sea of ​​tears because I haven’t finished. It has been an extremely exciting night for me but it is not the time to let go of what I have inside at the level of emotions and sensations. “I have a way to go and I don’t want to let go of that adrenaline.”

“It has been an exciting night. These people have never failed me. What these people have made me feel is something that will stay with me forever. I have enjoyed it. Three weeks ago I didn’t know if I could play an official match and I have been able to do it on the track at a fairly decent level. On a tennis level and on an emotional level I have been able to do it. This city has helped me decisively in my career, it took me positive energy and an unforgettable memory. “I don’t know if it will be the last time I play in Spain, I don’t know if there will be another option or not and if it was the last it would be a great memory,” he said.

And despite the defeat, Nadal has also pointed out that his physique is better for what Rome and Roland Garros may bring, in principle the next stops: “I have taken steps forward in every sense and we will see if I am able to consolidate those progress. I arrived with doubts and I leave with less doubts. I have played a match with an opponent who has been at a very high level and I have been competitive. For me, my first set has been the best since I have competed again. I leave satisfied in every way, better than I could have expected,” Nadal acknowledged.

“When people get excited it is not just because of the sporting issue. I have always tried to be respectful and kind and have appropriate behavior on the court and I think I have achieved it most of the time. They love me in any case and if People who are not so close to me get excited. For me, it is a very great satisfaction beyond what I consider to be valuable in life, beyond sport. I hope at least I have not been an example for the new generations who have seen me,” he concluded.

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