'Rafael Nadal is something unique', says former ATP star

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'Rafael Nadal is something unique', says former ATP star

Current WTA stars, local Charleston enthusiasts and Tennis Hall of Famers Pam Shriver and Tracy Austin came together Sunday morning to help raise money for Ukraine relief efforts at a special event. pro-am at the Credit One Charleston Open.

The tennis showcase, which offered 24 local club-level players the chance to team up with former Charleston champion Madison Keys, Mount Pleasant native Shelby Rogers and more, raised $100,000 in donations, which will be filtered through from the tour's non-profit arm, WTA Charities.

Pro-am participants pledged a total of $50,000, a sum that was matched by the tournament itself. “This is very important to us as a tournament and it's very important to the players,” Tournament Director Bob Moran said as he welcomed participants.

"This has been an important mission to start some things like this." Ukrainian player Anhelina Kalinina participated in the pro-am, along with Keys, Rogers, Americans Jessica Pegula, Desirae Krawczyk and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Also in attendance were Demi Schuurs, Alicja Rosolska, Erin Routliffe and Alexa Guarachi. Local players joined the professionals for short doubles matches. The pro-am is part of the Tennis Plays for Peace initiative, which seeks to "unite the tennis community and fans to support humanitarian relief efforts for the war in Ukraine." Rafael Nadal returned from a long-term foot problem in commanding fashion this year.

David Ferrer comments on Nadal

Rafael Nadal's plans for his clay season have been derailed by the rib injury he suffered at Indian Wells. ''There will surely be three 'top 10' (Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, and Hubert Hurkacz) and 11 of the top 20," Ferrer was quoted as saying by MARCA.

"A final between Tsitsipas and Carlos Alcaraz would be attractive. Nadal is an irreplaceable player, but we have the novelty of Alcaraz, who creates a lot of expectations after how he has broken into the circuit this year. Having Rafa is something unique and the only thing I hope is that he recovers as soon as possible," Ferrer said.

While Nadal skipped the Miami Open, Medvedev had another disappointing result after the Indian Wells debacle. However, on his least favorite surface, he will need to dig deep to engineer a strong comeback on red dirt. Carlos is of the same age when Nadal started dominating tennis, and the way Carlos is playing his path seems to be very identical to Nadal’s.

While speaking to the press after claiming the title by 7-5, 6-4 against Casper Ruud, he said, “Rafa is my idol. I looked up to him when I was younger. Watching his matches, his big matches, he was pretty big. To learn from him when I was young and yeah, of course, to be around him now in the tour be able to play against him. Yeah, it’s pretty special”.