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Watch: Fans go crazy as Rafael Nadal arrives in Chile for his exhibition tour

Nitto ATP Finals - Day Five
Rafael Nadal at the Nitto ATP Finals

Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal arrived in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday, November 24, for the second leg of his South American exhibition tour. He was almost immediately mobbed by fans.

The 22-time Major champion made it to the San Carlos de Apoquindo tennis court in the evening to meet his admirers. The "Rafamania" was evident as the waiting fans screamed their lungs out upon seeing the Spaniard.

In a video shared by the "We Are Tennis" handle on Twitter, the popular tennis star can be seen passing through with security guards and photographers following him. Nadal's manager Carlos Costa tried to calm the crowd, but his efforts were in vain.

You can watch the video here:

South American swing continues for Rafa Nadal, who will now play an exhibition in Chile ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ(๐ŸŽฅ poliblanco) https://t.co/9SR6TcMGDc

Nadal will face World No. 86 Alejandro Tabilo of Chile in an exhibition match to be held at San Carlos de Apoquindo in Santiago on Friday, November 25.

This is the second leg of the 14-time French Open champion's South American exhibition tour. He first played in Buenos Aires, where he beat World No. 3 Casper Ruud 7-6 (8), 6-2.

Rafael Nadal also teamed up with former US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini to play a doubles set against 2011 Australian Open women's doubles winner Gisela Dulko and Ruud. The pair of Nadal and Sabatini came through 6-4.

After his Chilean sojourn, Rafael Nadal's exhibition tour will continue at Bogota, Colombia, on November 26, and Quito, Ecuador, on November 27. He will then head to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 29 before concluding the tour at Mexico City on December 1.


"It touched me closely because of what we have shared" - Rafael Nadal on Roger Federer's retirement

Roger Federer (L) & Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup 2022
Roger Federer (L) & Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup 2022

Ahead of his exhibition match against Tabilo on Friday, Rafael Nadal met the press in Chile and talked about various topics. One of the many points of discussion was his great friend and rival Roger Federer's retirement earlier in the year.

The 20-time Major winner brought down the curtains on his scintillating career at the Laver Cup in London in September after playing a doubles match with the southpaw. The pair went on to lose the match to Team World's Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

The two legends sobbing after Federer played his last professional match became the talk of the town. When asked about that moment, Nadal was quoted as saying by La Hora:

"It was not an exciting moment only for me but for all lovers of this sport. It touched me closely because of what we have shared, rivaled and lived for so many years."

Chile has produced quite a few notable tennis players over the years, with Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu standing out. Massu went on to clinch the men's singles gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and is currently the coach of 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

While talking about his relationship with Massu, Nadal said:

"It's a phenomenon. We have experienced things together, we have a great personal relationship."

Gonzalez, meanwhile, lost a grueling men's singles final to Rafael Nadal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and had to settle for the silver medal.

Nadal also recalled some of his most iconic duels with Chilean players. He picked his Olympic encounter with La Reina Bomber as the most important match he has played against players from the nation.

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

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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