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Rafael Nadal responds to comments Serena Williams made about him

Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal thanked Serena Williams for the comments she made about him and called her one of the greatest female athletes in sports history.  Williams, 40, was sidelined for 12 months before returning to singles action this week at Wimbledon.  Nadal applauded Williams for attempting a return at the age of 40 and acknowledged her greatness.  "First of all, thanks for the words from Serena [Williams]. I read [them]. It's great to hear these beautiful things from probably one of the biggest female athletes in the history of the sport in general. And it’s great that she's trying to come back. The only thing that shows is passion and love for the game. After all the things that she achieved, and long period of time being injured, it’s so difficult to try to come back," Nadal said, per Sportskeeda.  Nadal: Williams loves the game  On Tuesday, Williams played her first singles match in 12 months.  Unfortunately, Williams suffered a tight loss as Harmony Tan edged out Williams 7-5 1-6 7-6 (7).  The match lasted just over three hours.  "Just [to] be here shows that she has a lot of love for her work and for this game. I think that's a great example," Nadal concluded. Before Wimbledon started, Williams was asked about Nadal.  Williams called Nadal an inspiration and added it's inspiring what he has been able to accomplish this year. “He’s (Nadal) done a lot in 2022. He’s been busy. I’ve always been a Rafa fan, so obviously I’m always rooting for Rafa. He’s been really inspiring in everything that he’s done this year. And he has a lot more to do," Williams said. Meanwhile, Nadal has been through to the Wimbledon scond round.  On Tuesday, Nadal defeated Francisco Cerundolo and he plays next Ricardas Berankis.  Nadal is aiming to win his third Wimbledon title this year.

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