Nadal, Djokovic, Alcaraz, and others at the Bernabeu for dramatic Real Madrid victory
It was a big day of tennis at the Madrid Masters, but that wasn’t the only sport taking place in the Spanish capital. Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final was attended by several tennis superstars.
Rafael Nadal’s day was already a good one. In the afternoon he returned to tennis following a two-month absence and beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1, 7-6(4) in the Mutua Madrid Open second round.
But it got even better for Nadal on Wednesday night. A massive Real Madrid fan, the 35-year-old Spaniard was in attendance at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to see his favorite soccer team earn a place in the final of the 2022 UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid could not have done it in any more dramatic fashion, too, as the home team scored three late goals to stun Manchester City 6-5 on aggregate. Having lost the first leg on the road via a 4-3 decision, Los Blancos trailed 5-3 on aggregate after City scored in the 73rd minute. Still behind by two in the 90th minute, Madrid scored to make it 5-4 and added another goal one minute into stoppage time to force 30 minutes of extra time. Yet another goal via penalty in the 95th minute proved to be the difference, as it gave the hosts a 3-1 victory in leg two that was good enough to advance.
Spaniards Carlos Alcaraz and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina were also at the Bernabeu along with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Nadal was seen looking at his watch during his post-match press conference as match time for the Champions League semi-final drew closer.
“I like it,” the 35-year-old joked. “It’s very beautiful.
“I don’t know what to expect (in the match),” he added. “I just expect to enjoy the match and of course I hope to win. Of course I want to leave (this press conference), but I know that’s my job, too. But, yeah, (it’s) going to be a spectacular atmosphere there. I would love to arrive a little bit before, but I am answering the questions well enough and I think long enough.”
Luckily for Nadal, he arrived at the Bernebeau on time and saw a match that won’t soon be forgotten in Real Madrid club lore.
Los Blancos will play another English Premier League team, Liverpool, in the final on May 28.
That will take place in Paris, coinciding with the French Open — meaning Nadal and rest of the gang could have another chance to see Real Madrid in action.