Rafael Nadal has showcased his humble and compassionate nature through various kind acts over the years, including a string of charitable contributions. Nadal made yet another generous gesture on Friday as he took some time out of his busy schedule to meet 95-year-old Manuela, a loyal supporter of the Spaniard who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
Earlier in the day Rafael Nadal had put in one of the most bizarre performances of his claycourt career against Alexander Zverev, to lose tamely in straight sets. Nadal was, by his own admission, thoroughly displeased with his performance, but he still paid a visit to his superfan Manuela in the meeting arranged by the Madrid organizers.
Manuela's grandson reached out to Rafael Nadal for a picture at the Madrid Open
Manuela's grandson Carlos Carrizosa had initially tried to catch Rafael Nadal's attention through a tweet. Carlos had posted a photo of his grandmother's tickets for the main count, and in the same thread also requested the Spaniard to take a picture with his grandmother.
Carlos wanted Manuela to create a memory of meeting her favorite tennis player before the Alzheimer's disease reached its last phase.
The Mutua Madrid Open organizers were soon made aware of Manuela's situation, and a meet-up was promptly arranged between her and Rafael Nadal after the latter's quarterfinal exit. The pair met in the corridors of the Magic Box and exchanged a few words, as seen in the picture below.
Although Manuela didn't get to watch Rafael Nadal at his absolute best on Friday, it is safe to assume that that would've mattered little to the 95-year-old. She managed to fulfill her dream of meeting her idol, and her beaming expression said it all.
Many fans took to Twitter to lavish praise on Rafael Nadal for his altruistic gesture towards the lady. Deportes de RTVE, a local TV channel, was able to film the 95-year-old woman's reaction after meeting Nadal.
Manuela was visibly in a jovial mood; when the interviewer probed her about the conversation with the 20-time Major winner, she replied that they had a brief talk before taking the photo.