Real Madrid fan Rafael Nadal let his emotions known during a practice session in the lead up to his Barcelona Open final, lamenting the La Liga holders’ 0-0 draw against Real Betis on Sunday even as the league title race has reached the tipping point.
Nadal is one of those tennis stars known for handling his on-court emotions but he was overheard by courtside microphones, venting out his frustration over Real Madrid’s draw.
As the Spaniard prepared on a practice court for Sunday’s Barcelona Open final success against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was frank in his assessment of Real’s stuttering La Liga title defence.
Nadal, a Real fan despite his uncle Miguel Angel making over 200 appearances for arch-rivals Barcelona, was seen speaking to umpire Mohamed Lahyani about his team’s 0-0 home draw with Real Betis on Saturday and was less than impressed with what he saw.
“Hala Madrid, but this year’s not so good, another 0-0 and we’re two points off the top” Lahyani said to Nadal, who shook his head and replied that it was “a disaster, a disaster”.
“La Liga’s over,” a despondent Nadal added.
“Madrid need goalscorers, they need a forward,” said the Swedih umpire. “Amongst other things,” said Nadal with a sigh.
Real’s 0-0 draw with Betis means they sit in second place on 71 points, two behind league leaders Atletico Madrid. Third-placed Barca also have 71 points but with a game in hand.
Fortunately, Nadal did not let Real Madrid’s result affect him too much as he saved a match point before lifting a 12th Barcelona Open trophy with a hard-fought 6-4 6-7(6) 7-5 victory over his Greek opponent.