Rafael Nadal announces end to 2021 season through injury
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Rafael Nadal left one of his fans feeling very happy after sending him a special birthday message. The world No 5 recorded a video for a grandfather as a 90th birthday present, moving the man to tears. Nadal is currently out of competition as he continues to recover from a left foot injury.
Earlier this month, the granddaughter of one of Nadal’s biggest fans reached out to the Spaniard on Twitter to ask him for a birthday message.
“Hello there @RafaelNadal ! The person you see in the video is my grandfather ‘O Parrallo’, he turns 90 on October 20. Admires you! And the best gift that life can give him is that you congratulate him in a video. Many thanks!” Pilar Leon wrote in a tweet on October 4.
She then shared a touching update on her grandfather’s birthday on Wednesday (October 20), revealing the 20-time Grand Slam champion had sent him a birthday video message.
“Today is a very special day because it’s your birthday. I send you a big hug and I wish you a happy birthday and all the best”, Nadal said in Spanish, addressing the man on his 90th birthday.
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Pilar shared a clip of her grandfather reacting to the video on social media, showing him brought to tears by the gesture.
She wrote: “Eternally grateful to @RafaelNadal and to all of you who have helped make his 90th birthday unforgettable.
“I hope you understand that I will leave the video in private. I show you his reaction. From hoxe nun ano Parrallito !!”
It appears that the world No 5’s Rafa Nadal Academy helped Pilar organise the surprise for her grandfather.
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The academy’s official Twitter account replied to the video with a satisfied face emoji.
“Thank you very much for the kindness with which you treated me when I called you asking for this,” Pilar wrote in response.
Nadal is currently out of action, having ended his season ahead of the US Open.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has barely played since suffering a shock early exit from Roland Garros, falling to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.
He returned for two matches at the ATP 500 in Washington back in August but just weeks later announced he was shutting down his season to recover from a left foot injury he aggravated during his Roland Garros defeat.
The 35-year-old recently underwent an “aggressive” medical procedure but has since made a return to the practice courts.
There is hope he could recover in time for January’s Australian Open, where he will be one of the favourites to win in the likely absence of his rivals Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Federer himself ended his season earlier this year and said he would be out of the game for “many months” after undergoing a third knee surgery in 18 months, while Djokovic cast doubts over his Australian Open pariticipation with the country set to ban unvaccinated players.
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