'Especially having Rafael Nadal and this level of...', says NHL star

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'Especially having Rafael Nadal and this level of...', says NHL star

After two months of absence from the fields, twenty times winner of Grand Slam tournaments Rafael Nadal made his return to the ATP 500 tournament in Washington. The Spaniard, however, appeared still in precarious conditions, he won the match on his debut only in the decisive tiebreak against the American Jack Sock, highlighting important problems in his foot.

The situation, at least physically, seemed to improve in the next match, but Rafa was however eliminated, to the incredulous surprise of the American public, by the South African tennis player Lloyd Harris. From next Monday Rafael Nadal will therefore have a major jolt in the standings and after years he will come out of the World Top 3.

The Spanish tennis player, who missed the Tokyo Olympic Games and the Wimbledon tournament, has only won two tournaments this year in Barcelona and Rome and has not yet managed to reach a Grand Slam final in this 2021. The biggest surprise of this season came precisely in the semifinals at Roland Garros where the Iberian champion, on the 'almost home' field, faced world number one Novak Djokovic and was defeated after a tough battle in about four hours of play.

Later, due to a foot problem, he gave up on the Wimbledon tournament. About two months ago Rafael Nadal reached his 650th week in the World Top 3, he was the second player to achieve this after Roger Federer.

Lars Eller opens up on Rafael Nadal

NHL star Lars Eller recently met Rafael Nadal during the 2021 Citi Open in Washington and gifted the Spaniard a Washington Capitals jersey with the Mallorcan’s name and No.

21 on the back. "It was great meeting him," Eller was quoted as saying by Washington City Paper. "We had a really good talk about both hockey and tennis. It was a tremendous experience to have had the chance to meet and talk to him for a bit."

The Dane then went on to heap praise on Roger Federer, mentioning how he admires the Swiss in all aspects. Eller admitted to being an admirer of Federer and Nadal's "humble personalities" and their continued dominance in the sport.

“I’ve always enjoyed watching Federer," continued the Dane. "I think he’s just amazing on so many levels. I admire him as a person [and] as an athlete. But the same thing with Nadal. I really admire their humble personalities, and the fact that they’ve been able to stay on top of their sport for so many years—you know, decades."