It’s not quite been the week Rafael Nadal might’ve expected at the Paris Masters.
After earning a bye in round one of the final event before the ATP World Tour Finals, the 31-year-old confirmed he will end 2017 as World No. 1 with a comfortable win over South Korean Hyeon Chung.
Nadal followed up the momentous victory by defeating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, but that’s where his joy ended.
The Spaniard was forced to withdraw from the tournament ahead of his quarter-final clash against Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic due to an all-too-familiar knee issue.
Naturally, Nadal was devastated to be unable to see out an event in a city where he has experienced great success throughout his career.
“I have to pull out. It’s a very hard decision for me,” he told reporters, via the Express.
“Pulling out from anywhere is tough but especially from here, from Paris. As I’ve said a lot of times, it’s the most important city in my career without a doubt.”
The injury has raised speculation about whether Nadal will push himself to contest the year-end championships in London.
Unlike much of his 16 years on the professional circuit, Paris has been less than kind to the ten-time French Open winner on this occasion.
But just when Nadal’s tournament couldn’t get any worse, some newly-emerged footage has shown his woes extended beyond the court.
Most high-profile tournaments grant players access to a secluded entrance to the event facilities, and as one would expect, the Paris Masters is no different.
Nadal – renowned for his rigorous training regime – opted to make use of the practice courts during his unusually brief stay in the French capital.
However, when the ‘King of Clay’ approached security, his presence was met with a reaction he can be far from accustomed to.
As he offered the guard on duty a friendly greeting, Nadal was quickly blocked and asked: “Who are you?”
While some top players would fly off the handle at failing to be recognised, the Mallorca native responded by stating his full name in a typically polite manner.
He was then waved through security and allowed to enter the grounds.
Check out the funny exchange for yourself in the video below.
Nadal has developed a reputation as one of the classiest men on tour, earning near-universal respect from his peers and fans alike.
Subsequently, his behaviour in this incident is nothing less than one would expect, though seeing one of the all-time greats at his charming best will never get old.
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