Rafael Nadal says it has been a privilege to compete in the same era as Serena Williams and wished the American all the best in her next chapter of life. Nadal, 36, and 40-year-old Williams have left a major mark in tennis history and both will go down as one of the greatest champions the game has ever seen.
With Williams retiring after this year's US Open, Nadal took a moment to show his appreciation and respect for Williams and her greatness. "Hi Serena. From my side, I can just say thank you. Thank you for all the amazing things that you did for our sport, such an amazing ambassador.
It has been a huge honor to share almost all of my tennis career with you," Nadal said in a video for the ATP Tour. "And honestly, I have plenty of memories of you winning, playing, and emotional moments. It's been a huge privilege.
So just all the best for your future and life. Hopefully, we can keep seeing each other around the tour, and as I said, all the very best. See you soon."
Nadal still going strong despite injuries
Nadal is often plagued by injuries but that hasn't stopped him from achieving big success this season.
After skipping almost the entire second part of the 2021 season due to a foot injury, Nadal bounced back in 2022 with two Grand Slams. Even though Nadal didn't win Wimbledon, he is still without a loss in 2022. After winning the Australian Open and French Open, Nadal reached the Wimbledon semifinal before being forced to give a walkover to Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal injury.
This season, Nadal has battled several physical setbacks - rib, foot and abdominal injuries. Still, Nadal has managed to win on the biggest stage and become a record 22-time Grand Slam champion. Last year, there was a big concern that Nadal might be forced to retire from tennis. Fortunately, Nadal was able to overcome health challenges and continue his career.