'I think just making sure Rafael Nadal's healthy for...', says former star



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'I think just making sure Rafael Nadal's healthy for...', says former star

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are two of the great myths in the history of "white sport". Both are considered as a source of inspiration for new tennis players in both the ATP and the WTA. With the withdrawal of the American being the central theme during these weeks after the announcement he made last week, the Spaniard took advantage of the press conference prior to his participation in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 to give him a few words of admiration.

“I have many memories with her, she is one of the best athletes of all time. I feel lucky to have shared my time on the circuit with her for so many years. From a selfish point of view, it is somewhat sad that she withdraws from her, but on the other hand you have to thank her enough for all the things that she has done for our sport”, Nadal pointed out.

“She has been an incredible inspiration to many people around the world, she deserves to choose what she wants at this stage of her life. I wish him all the best,” he added. The truth is that just as Serena's career will come to an end in a matter of weeks once the barrier of 41 years of age has been overcome, Rafa's also seems close, or at least that has been revealed after the multiple injuries that They have affected him throughout his career on the ATP circuit.

At the moment the youngest of the Williams has 23 Grand Slam titles in her record, while Nadal adds 22, to one of her contemporary colleague. Do you think Rafael Nadal surpasses Serena Williams in the number of Grand Slams won?

CiCi Bellis praises Rafa Nadal

Former World No.

35 CiCi Bellis also gave her thoughts on Rafael Nadal's physical state while speaking alongside Andy Roddick on Tennis Channel. "Obviously he is getting into the latter stages of his career so just staying healthy and maintaining his body is the biggest thing for him right now," Bellis said.

"His game's going to be able to show for it like we've seen this year, so I think just making sure he's healthy for the Open is gonna be the biggest thing." Andy Roddick also stressed that Rafael Nadal's early arrival in Cincinnati shows that he means business.

"Props to Rafa's management for getting him into that Wednesday night timeslot, giving him as much time as possible to get ready and get his practice reps in. But listen, you know Rafa's serious when he arrives at a tournament almost a week in advance to get used to the conditions in Cincinnati," Roddick said.

"I'm sure he's playing practice matches everyday. So, Rafa's not at this point - he would not sacrifice being healthy at the US Open to play in Cincy if he didn't feel like he could out play a healthy match on Wednesday night," he added.