Rafa Nadal starred on Wednesday in one of the most spectacular and heroic comebacks of his career by winning in five sets against American Taylor Fritz, certifying his passage to the semifinals of Wimbledon but also generating certain doubts about the extent of the abdominal injury that almost forced him to withdraw from the match.
The British press has once again praised the courage and eagerness to overcome the Spanish tennis player, who aspires to get his third title on the grass of the All England Club and will face this Friday the always controversial Nick Kyrgios for a place in the grand final, which would measure the current champion, Novak Djokovic, or local hero Cameron Norrie.
A newspaper in particular, the Daily Mirror, has also taken the opportunity to rescue a curious anecdote starring the manacorí in the 2010 edition, when he declined an invitation to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II herself, who starred that year in her last visit to the emblematic facilities of south London. Nadal acknowledged at the time that rejecting that proposal was something very “disappointing” for him, but that he had no choice but to do so as not to alter his essential training dynamics.
“It’s been disappointing, but the club knows I have my routines before every game. I knew it was going to be a very difficult confrontation. I had to practice, so it was impossible for me to meet her. I have my routines: before each game, it’s hard not to know when exactly you’re going to play,” he explained on the sidelines of his second-round match against Dutchman Robin Haase.
As was evident a few days later, his strategy worked perfectly and Nadal would end up winning his second Wimbledon Cup after beating the Czech Thomas Berdych in the final. Unfortunately, that memorable feat was not accompanied by what would have been a historic encounter with the sovereign. The tennis player expected Elizabeth II to occupy the royal box of the central court to see him in action, but the monarch left the club only a few minutes before, after having witnessed the match of his compatriot Andy Murray.
“I mean it, I thought the queen would come to see my match. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to meet her after the meeting. But it wasn’t possible because I think the queen left shortly before. It was disappointing. I was excited about the idea of meeting her, but the match was also very important,” Nadal justified in conversation with the aforementioned newspaper.