“I don’t think they need me to wash any image” – Rafael Nadal is conviced about his agreement with Saudi Arabia

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Until Wednesday, February 14th, Rafael Nadal had remained silent on the issue that perhaps received more criticism throughout his career: Saudi Arabia. The Spaniard announced a month ago his incorporation as ambassador of the Saudi Arabian Tennis Federation, and from there that raised various opinions from different sectors. Most of them negative due to the fact that Saudi is a country where several human rights are infringed. In his Academy, for the Spanish television, Nadal did not dodge the issue.

“If the country does not achieve the evolution that I believe it has to follow in the next 10 or 15 years, I will tell you that I have been completely wrong,” Nadal told Ana Pastor, star of Spanish journalism, during an interview on La Sexta’s interview show El Objetivo.

Pastor, characterized by her incisive questions, questioned the 22-time Grand Slam winner: “What need did Rafa Nadal have to get into this?”.

Nadal, currently 646th in the ATP ranking, acknowledged that the Saudis have things to improve and that it is a country that is “far behind in many things,” but that it is a nation that “has opened up to the world” and has “a lot of potential.”

“I don’t think Arabia needs me to wash any image…The feeling is that everything is bought with money and now Rafa has also sold out to money. And I tell you…,” Nadal explained, until a brief interruption from Pastor: “But you understand that people think so, don’t you?” she said. “Of course I do,” Nadal replied.

Nadal’s inner circle had pointed out to CLAY that the signing between the player and the Saudis was not about “a multimillionair contract, as people think.”

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“I believe that I will have the freedom to work with the values that I think I have to work with and that are correct. If afterwards that doesn’t happen, in the next interview I will tell you: ‘I made a mistake,'” added the former world number one.

Nadal la sexta

Out of Doha

In addition, Nadal pulled out from the  ATP 250 in Doha, where he planned to comeback.

“I would have loved to play in Doha, but unfortunately I’m not ready to compete and won’t be able to travel to Qatar. I will focus on continuing to work to be ready for the exhibition in Las Vegas and the incredible tournament in Indian Wells,” he said on his Twitter account.

“I’ve had some discomfort these past few weeks and I’m a little bit on the edge. At this point every hit I take, every injury, is a setback not only tennis-wise and physically, but also mentally. I am 100% confident to be in Indian Wells, it is a very special tournament for me. I do not know if it will be the last time I’m going to play, but there are possibilities to that, so I would like to be in Indian Wells no matter what, ” was what he said in La Sexta in the interview to be broadcast in Spain on Wednesday night.

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