Rafael Nadal made his all-time debut in Washington this week, attracting a flood of audiences and literally snapping up tickets. The race of the Spanish champion did not last long, given that the Majorcan left the scene already in the second round against the revelation Lloyd Harris.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who had already risked a lot on his debut against Jack Sock, seemed far from the best condition after a two-month break. The 35-year-old from Manacor also admitted that his foot injury is not yet behind him, so much so that it has limited him in both matches played in the US capital.
The hope of the Iberian is to improve as the weeks go by, but it will not be easy to reach top form for the start of the US Open. His next stop will be the Masters 1000 in Toronto. Meanwhile, NHL star Lars Eller met Nadal during the 'Citi Open' and gave him a Washington Capitals shirt with his name behind him and number 21 on the back.
He also talked about Roger Federer.
Lars Eller on the Big 3
"It was great meeting him," Eller was quoted as saying by Washington City Paper. "We had a really good talk about both hockey and tennis. It was a tremendous experience to have had the chance to meet and talk to him for a bit."
Eller further claimed he enjoys playing and watching tennis in his free time. As such, he considers Rafael Nadal's presence in Washington a "blessing." “It’s a sport I very much enjoy playing in my free time and also watching,” Eller said.
"Especially having Nadal and this level of talent here, it’s a blessing to the city if you’re a tennis fan. We’ve got a Capitals jersey for him that I’m happy to hand over”. The Dane then went on to heap praise on Roger Federer, mentioning how he admires the Swiss in all aspects.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching Federer," continued the Dane. "I think he’s just amazing on so many levels. I admire him as a person [and] as an athlete. But the same thing with Nadal. I really admire their humble personalities, and the fact that they’ve been able to stay on top of their sport for so many years—you know, decades."
Fans and players alike are preparing for one of the biggest events on the tennis calendar – the US Open. However, before we get to the hardcourt Grand Slam, there is another tournament players have to get through first, the Rogers Cup.
Unfortunately, there are a handful of prominent names that are going to be absent from the event. Players such as Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka will not be seen in Montreal.