92-Year-Old Fan Wins Rafa's Heart
Like all things in life, not everything goes your way in tennis -- even if you're the No.1 player in the world.
Rafael Nadal experienced that at the Australian Open last month. The Spaniard was forced to retire in the fifth set of his quarter-final match against eventual finalist Marin Cilic due to a leg injury.
But Nadal has a supporter in his corner to lift his spirits. A 92-year-old fan half-way around the world wrote a letter to Rafa, urging the ATP World Tour No.1 to get well soon and wishing him future success on the court.
"Dear Rafa, in December, I wrote you a letter and sent it to your Balearic Islands Academy in Spain," wrote the woman from Durango, Mexico. She did not provide a name.
"I know you're busy, running all over the place, and maybe you didn't receive it. I'm a 92-year-old woman, tennis player and ardent fan. I watch all your matches; if they're at dawn, I set my alarm clock to be sure I'm up in time to watch you play.
"I'm truly sorry for what happened in Australia, and I hope you make a full recovery. I'm aware you'll be in Acapulco at the end of the month and I wish I could go but it's difficult for me to travel these days. It would give me tremendous pleasure if you could respond to my letter someday."
The woman's great granddaughter took a photo of the letter and posted it on Twitter with a message.
"My great grandmother is Nadal's #1 fan and she sends letters to him all the time," Debora Mansur (@Deboramansurr) wrote via Twitter. "She hasn't gotten an answer from him yet. I wrote a message here for Rafa. It would make my great grandmother's day if we can get Nadal to read this please!"
Mi bisabuela es fan #1 de Nadal y siempre le escribe cartas y se las manda hasta España. Como jamás ha recibido respuesta, le pedí que escribiera una para twitter y me dio esto...le harían el día si me ayudan a que Nadal la lea plisssss. @RafaelNadal pic.twitter.com/R5hfpR9ZIX— Debora Mansur (@Deboramansurr) February 7, 2018
Debora's message received 13,000 likes and was retweeted 16,000 times.
Two days later, Debora and her great grandmother received the response they were waiting for.
"Dear Debora, please send my thanks to your great grandmother for her emotional letter, as it touched me deeply," Nadal wrote via Twitter. "I receive all of her letters of support and they mean a lot to me. Thank you."
Querida Debora, por favor dale las gracias de mi parte a tu bisabuela por esta emotiva carta y su contenido que llega al corazón. Todas las cartas y muestras de apoyo que recibo de todos vosotros significan mucho para mí. Muchas gracias https://t.co/jgkh7Hdjpv— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) February 9, 2018
And just like that, Nadal made one super fan's dream come true.