Rafael Nadal: 'I've never been afraid for...'



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Rafael Nadal: 'I've never been afraid for...'

22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is taking precautionary measures at Wimbledon, only leaving his house when he has to practice or play a match. So far three players from the men's draw have tested positive for COVID-19 at WImbledon: Matteo Berrettini, Roberto Bautista Agut and Marin Cilic.

The latest player to test positive for COVID-19 was Nadal's compatriot Bautista Agut, who withdrew from his second-round match on Thursday against Daniel Elahi Galán Riveros. Meanwhile, Nadal has advanced to the third round at Wimbledon after beating Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

"No paranoia, reality. A good friend of mine had to retire today. When this kind of thing happens it's probably because there are a lot of cases around. I stay here and at home, I don't go out anymore," Nadal said, according to Gaspar Ribeiro Lanca.

During his press conference after the second-round win, Nadal was asked to give his opinion on this year's French Open runner-up Gauff. Gauff is only 18 years old and is already a finalist for a Grand Slam and is ranked 12th in the world ranking.

In addition, Gauff is a fan favorite wherever she goes and Nadal admires the American. "I like how she talks to the public and to the press at the end of matches. She is fresh. She is natural. She seems very mature in her thoughts."

Rafa Nadal defeated Berankis

"It is normal for people to talk about the retirement of great athletes, since they have been in the elite for a long time, especially in very popular sports that form part of people's lives.

They become a fundamental part of a person's daily life, since they are an inspiration," Rafael Nadal said. "I love watching Tiger Woods. Now I can't see him play that often. In a way that is a change in my life too. I imagine that people will think the same of me, or they will think the same as fans of Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic when they are not playing," he added.

"My philosophy is that a couple of weeks ago I was close to retirement. Now I don't feel that way. I've never been afraid for that day to come," Nadal said. "I'm happy to have lived a very happy life outside of tennis, more beyond that tennis is a very important part of my life in the last 30 years. I have been happy outside of it, without a doubt."