Pedro Cachin harshly criticised for Rafael Nadal t-shirt gate at Madrid Open and here's why

Wednesday, 01 May 2024 at 18:11
Last year saw Cakegate and Doubles Final gate and while the Madrid Open may yet have some more blunders in them, it doesn't seem likely that they will fall fowl this time. It is instead the players providing the drama and in particular a moment between Rafael Nadal and Pedro Cachin.
Mixed views came out of Nadal's win over the Argentine for one reason, Cachin decided to ask for his kit at the net after losing to him. This saw David Law, podcast host for The Tennis Podcast share his view saying: "Sorry Pedro, asking for your opponent's shirt at the net ain't it." This was widely shot down including by Nick Kyrgios.
In Law's view though, he said it should've been done outside of the locker room with the wider perception being that Cachin is a professional and as such shouldn't be asking for a shirt like a fan would in the stands with one of those tacky cardboard signs held by kids and written by adults. But he has been perhaps harshly criticised, Cachin that is.

Social media glare likely contributing factor

Rafael Nadal retiring is a bit of a first in the modern era for a player of his level. A true modern day icon akin to Lionel Messi in football and Cristiano Ronaldo, he has transcended tennis and anyone who is anyone has been following his route out of the sport. As a player growing up during his pomp, Cachin likely would've got the fear factor that Nadal has had for years dismissing players before they even get on court.
Roger Federer for instance never got this treatment as he last played during COVID and retired at the Laver Cup with only big names present. Andy Murray is next up but likely apart from at Wimbledon won't get the same treatment, while Novak Djokovic while being close to the end shows no signs yet.
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Rafael Nadal's retirement is unprecedented in the modern era.
So in reality at least in the modern era, this kind of retirement tour apart from Sampras, Agassi etc has not been done and back then social media wasn't massively prevalent so the eyes of the world wouldn't be commenting on Cachin's every move.
Perhaps he shouldn't have asked for a shirt at the net and should've waited or should've been professional and not asked at all like Jiri Lehecka thinks, but Cachin perhaps has been harshly criticised for doing what most players outside of a certain ranking would feel the same. It will be interesting now what tact others take as he plays in Rome and Roland Garros and whether similar storms will emerge.

Rafa Nadal gave his shirt to Pedro Cachin after their match in Madrid. Pedro asked him at the net: “You made my dream come true. Can I have your shirt?” 🥹 A souvenir from one of the greatest legends in sports history. Beautiful moment. ❤️


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