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Has Rafael Nadal’s ‘Nice Guy’ Image Been Dented? Fans Question Spaniard for Poor Wimbledon 2022 Act

Dhruv Rupani

Is Rafael Nadal's Nice Guy Image Dented? Roger Federer documentary exposes him

Rafael Nadal has been an epitome of humility, patience, competitiveness and work ethic over the years. This is why his popularity is so impressive that he is the most followed tennis player on the planet on social media. However, there seems to always be an enigma surrounding Nadal and that has been exposed to some extent in the latest documentary, ‘Federer: The Final Twelve Days’.

While Rafael Nadal is already facing criticism for overhyping his friendship with Roger Federer to promote the Prime Video film, another aspect of it has put him in some trouble. In one of the segments, Nadal was sitting in the Team Europe locker room at the Laver Cup 2022 and other players such as Roger Federer, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas were surrounding him. A small discussion began between the 22-time Grand Slam champion and the 2021 Wimbledon finalist from Italy, Matteo Berrettini.

According to Rafael Nadal, Berrettini’s compatriot, Lorenzo Sonego disrespectfully and deliberately produced loud grunts to distract him in their Wimbledon 2022 match. During the match, Nadal infamously gestured Sonego to come to the net and sternly ordered him to stop with his antics. However, Berrettini disagreed with the Spaniard and said that he knew Sonego better than him since he is his childhood friend, so he did not grunt to play mind games.

Both Nadal and Berrettini stuck to their point of views, as Federer tried to diffuse the situation by changing the topic. The former then proceeded to mimic Sonego, something which the Swiss legend found hilarious. However, that argument has given a chance to critics to brand Rafael Nadal as a hypocrite of sorts. It’s because ironically, Nadal is himself known for his loud grunts despite having hit a shot seconds before he could do so.

Tennis fans on X debated on the same and most of them sided with Matteo Berrettini and as a result, Lorenzo Sonego. A lot of them also were neutral as they focused on how both the players stood with their point of view and how hilarious was Nadal and Federer’s reaction to Berrettini’s claim.

Perhaps, Rafael Nadal has had lesser controversies as compared to many others, which is why even one could get highlighted a lot more. Nevertheless, the 2022 Wimbledon Round of 32 match was not one of Nadal’s finest moments. Back then, the Spaniard was surprisingly apologetic.

What Rafael Nadal Said Back at Wimbledon 2022

Rafael Nadal seems to have backtracked from his sentiments in the documentary and not really accepted his mistake. After that match, Nadal was more sombre in front of the media about it.

“I think I was wrong. I spoke to him in total calmness. I exposed the situation that was happening. If I needed to go back, I wouldn’t do it again.

“I told the referee before. The referee, who is one of the bests, was waiting until the change of service to tell him something.

“Were are among colleagues, we see each other every week. There are codes inside a tennis court that must be respected. I believe I was wrong for calling him to the net and telling him the things.

“I should’ve told him when we switched (serves) or wait until the referee told him”, the 2-time Wimbledon champion said.

Nadal does seem extremely concerned about his image and not getting upset on the tennis court. His uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal trained him to not show his emotions much, regardless of the result of the point played or the match overall. At the time, it seemed uncharacteristic of Rafael Nadal to react like that on court.

However, Rafael Nadal might have shot himself in the foot by getting exposed in the locker room, showing perhaps his more realistic side. While it could come across as if Nadal has still not gotten over that incident, he is human too after all and took a stand for himself when he felt he is right. This is even if he might not be popular amongst some Italian players and their fans now.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Dhruv Rupani

Dhruv Rupani


Dhruv Rupani is a Tennis Editor at The SportsRush. He is a tennis tragic in every sense and would go to any length to defend it against anyone if compared negatively to other sports. A huge Rafael Nadal supporter, Dhruv believes tennis is very much like life in most aspects. He started following the sport at the age of 10. Translating his love for sports into a living, he has over 8 years of experience in the digital media space. He aims to entertain and educate people about sports by presenting the best updates to them. When not covering tennis, Dhruv loves to spend time watching comedy shows and movies, reading inspiring books and doesn't mind trying his hand at cooking sometimes!

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