After winning his 19th Grand Slam title over the weekend, Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal received special congratulations from King Felipe.
Shortly after his US Open win, the Spanish Royal House’s Twitter account posted a message saying, “His opponents will say one day: I played against Rafael Nadal.”
A Grand Slam title in tennis is when a player wins one of the major tournaments: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, or the US Open.
Nadal has won the Australian Open once; the French Open 12 times; Wimbledon twice; and the US Open four times.
This isn’t the first time King Felipe has taken to Twitter to congratulate Nadal on another win. Earlier this year after his 12th win at the French Open, the King tweeted, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 y ahora…… ¡¡¡¡¡DOCE!!!!!! ¡¡¡¡Rafa, leyenda eterna del tenis!!!! No hay otro como tú, Rafael Nadal.”
(English: Nadal Garros 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and now …… TWELVE !!!!!! Rafa, eternal tennis legend !!!! There’s no one like you Rafael Nadal.”)
When Nadal won his historic Wimbledon match against Roger Federer in 2008, the then-Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia were in attendance in the Royal Box. Nadal could be seen jumping into the stands to climb over to shake the future king’s hand.
Also in 2008, following his French Open and Wimbledon wins, as well as his Olympic gold medal, Nadal received the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport, with the jury citing the “way he reacts after a victory and the way he highlights the merits of his opponents is particularly admirable. He has also recently established a charitable foundation bearing his name which focuses on social work among disadvantaged groups and cooperation for development.
“Rafael Nadal is an example to follow. Both in his victories and in the very few occasions when he is defeated, he shows great sportsmanship.”
With this US Open win, Nadal now closes in on the Grand Slams record held by friend and court rival Federer, who has 20 Grand Slam titles.