ATP Tour

Madrid adopt Rafa as their own

Rafael Nadal (AFP)
Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Madrid - The city of Madrid declared world number one Rafael Nadal as its adopted son on Monday in honour of his trophy-laden tennis career.

"Today is a very special day for me" said Nadal, who wore a grey suit and blue tie, at a ceremony at Madrid city hall which voted unanimously to give him the honour last year.

Declaring someone an adopted son or daughter is the highest award which Madrid city hall can award.

"I believe in respect for my opponents, humility, discipline, hard work and enthusiasm.

"Those are some of the values I believe and that is how I understand not only sports but life as well," said Nadal.

Madrid mayor Ana Botella heaped praise on Nadal, who was born on the Balearic Islands and who is in the Spanish capital to defend his Madrid Masters title, calling him "generous, warm and authentic".

"You have the admiration and permanent and sincere affection of the entire city," she added.

Nadal, who began playing tennis at age four coached by his uncle Toni Nadal, has been champion in 13 Grand Slam tournaments.

He won the French Open eight times, Wimbledon twice, the US Open twice and one Australian Open.

Previous recipients of the distinction include Spain's King Juan Carlos and Peruvian author and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 11460 votes
Cricket
12% - 3312 votes
Football
19% - 5178 votes
Athletics
3% - 697 votes
Boxing
1% - 271 votes
Cycling
2% - 644 votes
Golf
5% - 1417 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2342 votes
Tennis
3% - 928 votes
Water sports
1% - 248 votes
American sports
1% - 336 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 907 votes
Vote