A few days ago, Tiger Woods appeared in front of the press, prepared to discuss topics about his career and the injury that forced him to withdraw from the Masters in April. After several back and forths between the reporters, though, the 15-time major champion mentioned the name of one of the best tennis players in the world and his close friend, Rafael Nadal.

And seeing as we’re only left with a year before seeing Nadal leave the sport, Woods encouraged the sports community to enjoy his performances while we still could.

Woods: ‘I don’t want to see Nadal go’

Throughout time, Woods and Nadal—possibly the two greatest athletes of all time in their respective sports—grew closer because of their long-term partnership with Nike.

In 2008, around the time when Woods had won the US Open, the tennis phenom openly stated that he admired Wood’s mentality and that he particularly liked his eyes when he’s going to have the important shots. 

“He always plays with unbelievable determination in important moments,” Nadal said. 

And in Woods’ latest press conference, the 50-year-old golf star likewise talked about Nadal in the same endearing manner, stating that  what Nadal had done was ‘extraordinary.’

“Well, I think what Rafa, what he’s done is extraordinary. I mean, he won the Australian Open on a broken foot. The guy is beyond tough and beyond competitive,” Woods said.

He then shared that Nadal knows ‘Father Time is here’, and that ‘aging out of sport’ is something that all athletes unfortunately have to deal with.

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The last time the world saw Rafael Nadal compete was at the Australian Open 2023, where he lost to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round at Rod Laver Arena.

One day following his heartbreaking defeat, Rafael Nadal shared the tragic news that, following a medical evaluation, he had been dealing with a grade two injury to his left leg’s Iliacus Psoas.

Nadal declared in the next few months that he would retire in 2024, but not before competing for the last time in a few prestigious tournaments and the Paris Olympics.

“I don’t want to see him go…We should all enjoy watching him compete and watching him play and what he’s meant to the game, what he’s meant to all of us, just to see the passion of how he plays and why he plays”, Woods said.

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