Rafael Nadal is known for being one of the humblest and friendliest players on the men's tour. The Spanish phenomenon is on good terms with most of his colleagues and is considered an example to follow even by his fiercest rivals.
Numerous fans were disappointed when the Majorcan announced his intention not to defend his title at the US Open, where he won his 18th career Grand Slam last year. A few days before the start of the New York Grand Slam, the ATP had posted a tweet asking fans to ask their questions to former World number 1 Andy Murray.
It would have been the three-time Grand Slam champion to choose the most interesting question to answer. The Scottish veteran told a hilarious story involving Nadal himself and which took place way back in 2011. Shortly before the US Open semi-final (which saw them face off), Nadal and Murray were having dinner with their girlfriends in the same restaurant in New York.
However, only Rafa was aware of the situation.
Murray on Rafael Nadal
“I was at a restaurant with my wife and I sat down at the table, and about two minutes after sitting down, I got a message on my phone saying something like, 'You look amazing tonight'
I looked at my phone and I was like, I was like, 'Who, sent me that'?" said Andy Murray. “And I didn't know whether to tell my wife, because I was like, if I tell her she's gonna be like, 'Who the hell is sending you messages like this' and stuff,” he continued.
“And I didn't wanna ruin the dinner, and then about five minutes later, Rafael Nadal came and tapped me on the shoulder, and told me he'd sent me the message. Because I had his number on my phone, he sent me the message from his girlfriend's phone.
So yeah, it was an uncomfortable few minutes for me,” concluded Murray. Nadal and Andy Murray have met on 24 occasions since 2007, with Nadal leading 17–7. Nadal leads 7–2 on clay, 3–0 on grass, and 7–5 on hard courts (including 4–4 on outdoor courts, but Nadal leads 3–1 on indoor hard courts), but trails 1–3 in finals.
The pair once met regularly at Grand Slam level, with nine out of their 23 meetings coming in Grand Slams, with Nadal leading 7–2 (3–0 at Wimbledon, 2–0 at the French Open, 1–1 at the Australian Open, and 1–1 at the US Open).