Nadal submitted a request for the Champions League ahead of the Madrid Open competition, the tournament director reveals

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Rafael Nadal requested that his opening match at the Madrid Open not clash with his beloved Real Madrid Champions League semi-final against Manchester City, according to tournament director Feliciano Lopez.

Nadal, who has won the Madrid Open on five occasions, will face Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in the last 16 on Wednesday, the same day that Los Blancos try to topple a 4-3 deficit in the first match against Pep Guardiola’s team at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 21-time grand slam winner is known for being an ardent supporter of Madrid and was invited to take an “honor kick-off” before Carlo Ancelotti’s team finished their 35th league title with a 4-0 victory over Espanyol at the weekend.

Lopez confirmed Nadal’s request to Spanish radio network Cadena SER on Tuesday.

“Nadal asked us that when Madrid played the Champions League semi-finals that we did not play him,” Lopez said.

“He likes to play during the day, so the ball bounces higher. There is [Spanish] non-Madrid tennis players. David Ferrer is not from Madrid. “Tommy Robredo and Marc Lopez are from Barcelona, ​​Sergi Bruguera is very much from Barcelona … it’s very difficult to be an anti-Madridista!”

Real Madrid have been eliminated from each of their previous five Champions League semi-finals when they lost their first match – however, Los Blancos have progressed from two of their last three knockout matches as they lost the opening match (quarter-final 2015-16 against Wolfsburg and this season’s round of 16 final against Paris Saint-Germain).

Madrid have won the Europa Cup / Champions League at a record 13 times, also finishing as second place three times, and Nadal will hope to have a good overview if Los Blancos wins a 17th final appearance on Wednesday.



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