ATP Tour

Heartbroken Nadal 'wants to cry' over vote

2017-10-02 13:35
Rafael Nadal (Getty)

Beijing - Spain's world number one Rafael Nadal said on Monday he was stunned and felt like crying following a banned independence referendum in Catalonia and a police crackdown.

Sunday's plebiscite was organised under the threat of reprisals and criminal charges but thousands of Catalans stood in defiance of the central government in Madrid. 

Nadal, a national hero in Spain who spoke out before the referendum to condemn it, was visibly moved as he addressed a press conference in Beijing, where he starts his assault on the China Open on Tuesday. 

The 31-year-old, who grew up and lives on the Balearic island of Mallorca but is also a Catalan speaker, said he had watched events of the weekend unfold "with concern and sadness".

Dozens of people were injured and Nadal said: "I want to cry when I see a country where we have known how to co-exist and be a good example to the rest of the world get to a situation like this. 

"I think the image we have presented to the world is negative." 

The 16-time Grand Slam winner added: "It was a sad moment, my heart sank all day. 

"Moreover, from here, at a distance, you experience it differently. 

"I have spent many parts of my life in Catalonia, important moments, and to see society so radicalised surprises and disheartens me." 

Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to break away from Spain after 90 percent of voters chose independence.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.