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Reem's diary: Stars show their true colours

Amid tension and high-stakes, tennis' biggest stars show moments of great kindness away from the cameras at the French Open.

Reem Abulleil
by Reem Abulleil
30th May 2016

article:30th May 2016

Nice touch: An upset Nadal remembered the staff.
Nice touch: An upset Nadal remembered the staff.

There are always these tiny moments which give you an idea of what a player is really like, not when they’re answering questions or giving a TV interview, but it’s the seconds in between which can be insightful.

After what he described as the “hardest press conference of my career” following his withdrawal from Roland Garros due to a wrist injury, Rafael Nadal went over to kiss the stenographers goodbye before exiting the interview room.


He was fighting tears during his presser and couldn’t get out of there soon enough but still bid farewell to the talented women who type every word he says at every tournament.

After an injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired from his third round match with Ernests Gulbis and faced the press about his heartbreak, he was unable to properly understand an English reporter’s question.

“Sorry, it’s my English, it’s not you,” he told her with a smile.

On Sunday, Stan Wawrinka offered a ball kid a quick hit on Philippe Chatrier while Viktor Troicki received a medical timeout.

The young lefty went back and forth with Wawrinka until Troicki was done, in a moment that kid will definitely never forget.

Asked why he did that, the defending champion said: “I don’t know. I was a little bit bored, waiting for Viktor, talking to the ball kid. I asked him if he played tennis. I said ‘okay, let’s play’. He wasn’t afraid to be on Centre Court. He was a nice kid. It was nice for him.”


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