Andy Roddick moved by Madrid's tribute to Rafael Nadal

The former US tennis player shared beautiful words on Rafa's farewell to Madrid

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Andy Roddick moved by Madrid's tribute to Rafael Nadal
© Clive Brunskill/Staff - Getty Images Sport

In his podcast Served with Andy Roddick, the former American tennis player revealed that he was moved during the ceremony organized by Feliciano Lopez and the board of the Mutua Madrid Open to Rafael Nadal.

The Spanish champion played his last match at the Mutua Madrid Open and the Spanish crowd paid him a tribute that thrilled all tennis fans.
Five flags were displayed in the Manolo Santana Stadium, like the number of titles won by the Majorcan in Madrid, which reproduced the writing: "Gracias, RAFA"

"I got goosebumps. He entered the court, as always arranging the bottles, his bag and paying attention to all the details of him. The crowd was always ready to cheer him on and shouted: Rafa, Rafa, Rafa

I'm 1000% sure he felt loved and supported this week. He deserved this tribute, it was a celebration of everything he did. The next ceremony was great, we expected it. His reaction was perfect too,” said Roddick.

Rafael Nadal, Madrid 2024

Rafael Nadal, Madrid 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

"Rafa's preparation, considering what his body can handle, was top notch. As was the behavior of the public who cheered for him but respected his opponents.

I think what we've seen compared to last year is positive: Nadal didn't give the impression that anything was wrong. I forgot to look for injuries this week and just focused on the way Nadal played," added Roddick

In the mainwhile, Nadal has arrived in Rome and has already held his first training session on the Central Court of the Foro Italico.

Nadal's emotional farewell to Madrid

Feliciano Lopez, current director of the Madrid tournament, joined Nadal at the Manolo Santana Stadium together with Gerard Tsobanian, to present the Spanish tennis player with a special trophy.

"He It was really exciting. Everyone was excited thinking that one of the matches played here would be the last in Madrid. Jiri Lehecka played very well, but I am still happy for Rafa because he has made a lot of progress. This is something to consider since Paris is upon us.
Just seeing him back on the pitch is good news,"
said Lopez to Sky Sports.

Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano Lopez © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

"It's difficult to organize something for a legend like him, because he didn't retire in Madrid. He still left the door open, because he isn't 100% sure of his condition. It was difficult to decide what to do: something special but not related to his last game ever.

I think it was all very exciting. It was all planned and we were ready. Rafa is a legend, we're not just talking about tennis. He is special, not just for the titles he won. He was one of the most important moments in the history of this tournament: he won five titles here, he is the greatest sportsman in the history of Spain.

So it was a really special moment for us. I have many memories, one above all: his passion for everything he does. Spending time with him, playing Davis Cup doubles – I've shared many incredible moments with him over the last twenty years.

It's hard for all of us, I saw people's sadness after the match he lost against Lehecka. It's one of those moments you know will come, but you don't want it to happen. It's hard to accept," he explained.

Andy Roddick Rafael Nadal