Rafael Nadal’s wife and sister in tears after his final match in Spain



Rafael Nadal's mother Ana Maria Parera, sister Maria Isabel Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello watch in tears as they listen to his goodbye speech to the Spanish fans after defeat in his last professional match in Spain against Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic
Rafael Nadal’s family were very emotional after his final match in Spain (Picture: Getty)

Rafael Nadal’s wife and sister were in floods of tears after watching the tennis legend play his final match in Spain at the Madrid Open on Tuesday.

Nadal has spoken openly about his plans for retirement on numerous occasions and is using the 2024 season as a farewell tour before he hangs up his racket.

The 37-year-old, one of the most iconic figures in Spanish sporting history, has won 22 major titles and is considered one of the best tennis players of all time.

He recently competed at the Barcelona Open before travelling to the Spanish capital for the Madrid Open as he gets ready for a last dance at Roland-Garros.

Nadal lost to Jiri Lehecka in the last 16 in Madrid on Tuesday, which is likely to be his last-ever professional match in Spain on the ATP Tour.

Emotional scenes followed as Madrid Open organisers unveiled five banners for Nadal after the match – one to represent each of his five men’s singles titles at the event – which is the most in history.

Nadal looked on with an emotional smile before being handed a special, one-off trophy to recognise his achievements.

Rafael Nadal poses for pictures with former tennis player and Madrid Open tournament director Feliciano Lopez, holding a trophy
Rafael Nadal was handed a trophy after his loss to Jiri Lehecka (Picture: Getty)

A picture of his wife and sister watching on from the stands in tears went viral with Nadal’s fans reacting to the image on social media.

‘Whew, it had me choked…what a beautiful family,’ @whisper08875881 posted on X. ‘Thanks Rafa you have been part of our lives for so many years.’

‘Broken-hearted too,’ @MahonyHila81440 added. ‘It’s been wonderful watching Rafa over the years, he has given us so much. Thank you all for supporting him and taking care of him.’

Nadal, after playing his final match in Madrid, said in his on-court interview: ‘This is one or those times where when it arrives, it’s very difficult.

‘But life and my body have been sending signals to me for a long time. My dream was to finish here on court.

‘I have been fortunate in my life to turn my passion into my job. I am privileged.’

Five banners for Rafael Nadal pop up after his last match at the Madrid Open, one for each year he won is hung on court Manolo Santana
Madrid unveiled banners for Rafael Nadal after his last match at the event (Picture: Getty)

Nadal was quizzed about retirement plans in his post-match press conference and and added: ‘I don’t know how long (smiling), but I’m gonna try to play in Rome.

‘That’s another very special tournament in my career, no? I think, I don’t know, I won 10? Yeah, 10. So, yeah, a lot of emotions there too.

‘My dream is to play all these tournaments that I had success one more time, no? I missed Monte-Carlo unfortunately, that is one of the most special for me, but Rome is one of these ones that I enjoyed a lot playing there.

‘So I want to go there. I’m gonna try. And I want to play well there. I want to play well. I want to be competitive.

‘I want to give myself a chance to play good tennis, and I’m gonna keep working hard to try to make that happen. Today is an emotional day, of course. Today is an unforgettable day in terms of saying, goodbye, Madrid.

‘That is one of the places or even probably the place that I received more love and support during all these years.

‘But my career keeps going, and I have my personal goals that I have got in the next couple of weeks, and I want to explore if I have any chance to achieve them.’

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