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If you ever doubted Rafael Nadal’s dedication to tennis, then the story of how he turned down a chance to meet Queen Elizabeth II should bring it into perspective.

The United Kingdom is currently in a period of mourning following the Queen’s passing, aged 96, this week. The iconic monarch, who reigned for more than 70 years, died peacefully in her sleep at Balmoral.

Elizabeth was an enormous sports fan, though, and she would occasionally be able to get to Wimbledon. One such visit was in 2010, and she had hoped to meet Rafael Nadal there.

However, Nadal was there to win, not socialise, and he put his preparation for a second-round match against Robin Hasse above the opportunity to meet the Queen.

“It was disappointing for me but the Wimbledon club knows I have my routines before the match,” he explained.

"I knew it was going to be a very difficult match. I had to practice around then, so it was impossible for me [to meet the Queen].”

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Queen Elizabeth II at Epsom in 2012

Queen Elizabeth II at Epsom in 2012

If you are wondering how that decision panned out for Rafael Nadal… well it turned out pretty well. He lost two of the first three sets against Hasse, who was entering using protected ranking, but Nadal rallied to win the match in five sets.

He also went on to win the whole tournament that year, beating Andy Murray in the semi-final before downing Tomas Berdych in the final to claim his second and, at the time of writing, last Wimbledon crown.

Everyone at TennisBuzz would like to offer our condolences to the British Royal Family and all those mourning the sad loss of Queen Elizabeth II. 

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