"I was scared I never would see Rafael Nadal again": Pedro Cachin dismisses backlash, stands by his request for 'idol's' shirt after Madrid Open clash

Rafael Nadal gifted Pedro Cachin his shirt after their Madrid Open clash
Rafael Nadal gifted Pedro Cachin his shirt after their Madrid Open clash

Pedro Cachin has firmly defended his decision to ask for Rafael Nadal's shirt after their third-round clash at the 2024 Madrid Open. Despite facing backlash for his request, the Argentine shared that he stands by his gesture.

Following a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 loss to Nadal in the third round of the Masters 1000 event in Madrid, Cachin made an unusual request for a souvenir from the 22-time Grand Slam champion. The Spaniard graciously obliged and gifted Cachin one of his shirts.

The likes of Iga Swiatek, Daniil Medvedev and Ons Jabeur enthusiastically endorsed the Argentine's gesture. However, Cachin copped criticism from Jiri Lehecka, who beat Nadal in the fourth round of the Madrid Open, and tennis commentator David Law, who felt that the gesture reflected a lack of competitive spirit.

In a recent interview with i, Pedro Cachin revealed his indifference to the backlash, choosing instead to focus on his good fortune of receiving a shirt from one of his idols.

"I don’t care. I got a t-shirt from my idol, one of my idols," he said.

The 29-year-old disclosed that he had initially intended to approach Nadal with his request discreetly in the locker room. However, the fear of not having any chance to meet the Spaniard prompted him to seize the opportunity on the court.

"Many people I saw in Twitter talk about how you can ask for a t-shirt from someone who play against, and won against you. I wanted to do it after the match in the locker room, but I was scared that when I finished the match, I never would see him again," he said.

Cachin also said that it was a dream come true for him and his family to share the court with the former World No. 1.

"It was difficult to think about playing Rafa in the third round because I needed to win two matches – but then I won two matches," Cachin said.
"I watched Rafa against De Minaur, and he won. For me and for my family, for my friends to watch me in that court against Rafa was a dream, not only for me, also for my family," he added.

"Maybe Rafael Nadal's last French Open, we need to try to enjoy him as much as we can" - Pedro Cachin

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

In the same interview, Pedro Cachin hailed Rafael Nadal as a legend and emphasized the need to cherish the Spaniard's campaign at the 2024 French Open as it might be his final appearance at the claycourt Major.

"He’s a legend. He’s a legend for our sport, for all of sports. Maybe his last French Open, and I think we need to try to enjoy him as much as we can," Cachin said.

It's worth mentioning that the 22-time Grand Slam champion has not ruled out the possibility of competing at Roland Garros in 2025.

"Is this my last Roland Garros? Probably yes, but I don't want to say 100%. I don’t want to close the door. I'm sorry. I can't predict the future. This place is magical for me. I may say yes in a couple of months, but I feel better than a month and a half ago," the Spaniard said in his pre-tournament press conference.

Nadal faces a tough challenge in the first round of the French Open, taking on fourth seed Alexander Zverev. Pedro Cachin, meanwhile, will commence his campaign against 14th seed Tommy Paul.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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