Rafael Nadal Is The Nicest Bloke In Tennis, Confirms Viral Story
— 27 May 2024

Rafael Nadal Is The Nicest Bloke In Tennis, Confirms Viral Story

— 27 May 2024
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

In a world fraught with A-list divas and a heavy emphasis on achievement above all else, Rafael Nadal: Nice Guy™ is something of a rarity.

Considering this French Open would likely be his last (Rafa faces off against world #4 Alexander Zverev tonight), celebrated journalist and biographer Ashlee Vance decided to take a stroll down memory lane.

A few years ago, the author of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, & the Quest for a Fantastic Future found himself on assignment at Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s Palm Springs mansion-cum-resort. The story? A Bloomberg article about how the tech billionaire was dropping a fortune to “save” American tennis.

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Aside from Ellison, Vance was scheduled to chat with the King of Clay himself right after a 45-minute game with late Oracle CEO Mark Hurd (“Hurd used to always give me grief because I only played D3 in college and he played D1 at Baylor.”).

“I returned to the main room of the cabana and took a seat and in came Rafa for an interview. As we began to sit down, he offered me a coconut water and then offered to make me an espresso. He really wanted me to drink something,” Ashlee Vance recounted in his now-viral X thread.

“There were helpers all around, but Rafa was adamant about personally dealing with my hydration.”

“This is to say, he’s an extremely nice man. I got a bottle of water. We talked for more than 30 minutes. He could not have been nicer and more thoughtful.”

“He was the polar opposite of most athletes I’ve interviewed. NBA players, in my experience, are particularly obnoxious with how precious they are. They make it feel like a huge burden to give you five minutes. Not Rafa.”

“Cheerful. Open. An actual old-school gentleman.”

Vance continued: “I stayed at the tournament all week and hung out in the players’ area. I’d get food with all of them. And here’s where Rafa set himself apart.”

“He knew the cooks’ names. He was so polite when ordering food and went out of his way to make all the staff feel special. I’ve really never seen anyone that famous do anything like it.”

“Anyway. He’s one of a kind. The sport will miss him deeply when he retires.”

Despite the 22 Grand Slam titles — including a record 14 French Open championships; 209 weeks as the world #1; and having cemented himself as one of history’s greatest tennis players alongside fellow Big Threes Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic; it wouldn’t be an overstatement to claim the most important part of Rafael Nadal’s legacy has revolved around being a nice guy.

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“I would like to be remembered as a good person… much more than as a champion or anything else,” he told El Periodico back in 2020 (translated).

“Because in the end, victories, titles, are moments of happiness, of euphoria, of adrenaline, of success, but all of that is temporary and I have always been very clear about that.”

“The important thing is that the people who know you have a positive opinion of you.”


Now check out the diet and workout plan that made Rafael Nadal a Grand Slam champ.

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Garry Lu
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After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]

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