New Delhi: A meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, is something that many athletes would not dare turn down. But Winner of a record 22 grand slam titles Rafael Nadal once turned down an invitation to meet the queen, who passed away on Thursday.
It happened during the 2010 Wimbledon Championships when Queen Elizabeth II visited the All England Club. When offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the Queen, Nadal declined the invitation for his practice session before his second-round encounter against Dutch tennis player Robin Haase.
The 36-year-old said, “I knew it was going to be a very difficult match. I had to practice around then, so it was impossible for me [to meet the Queen]. I have my routines. Before the match, it is very difficult when you don’t know when you’re going to play. For me it was disappointing. I was excited to meet her but it was a very important match for me too,” Nadal had explained his stance then.”
“I thought the Queen was going to be at my match and I would love to have the chance to meet her after the match. But it wasn’t possible because I think the Queen left before,” he added.
The Spanish eventually won his match against Haase 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 and also lifted his second Wimbledon title that year.
Nadal tweeted, “My most respectful, sincere and deepest condolences to the Royal Family of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and to the British people for the pass of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II,” to express his condolences to the Royal family on the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.
My most respectful, sincere and deepest condolences to the Royal Family of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and to the British people for the pass of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) September 9, 2022