Graceful in victory, graceful in defeat, reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal embodied the spirit of Wimbledon’s whites following his heartbreaking 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13 loss to Gilles Muller in the fourth round of the ongoing Wimbledon Championships, late in the night on Monday.

 

The 34-year-old drew loud applause from the Court One audience as he packed his bags and waited for his opponent from Luxemburg to also gather his belongings before walking alongside him towards the changing rooms.

It would have been perfectly acceptable even if the Spaniard, soaked and drained after a four-hour 48-minute marathon, had stormed off the court after being broken for the last time in the fifth set.

 

 

Mind your head, Rafael Nadal… . #Wimbledon #tennis #sport #instasport

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However, Rafa, who had accidentally bumped his head on the roof during the warm up for the game, set a perfect example by just standing there in the waiting and even signed some autographs before exiting.

 

 

Even in defeat, @rafaelnadal has time for his fans. : @besolomon . #Wimbledon #Nadal #ManicMonday #tennis #instasport #Muller

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The 34-year-old 15-time Grand Slam winner had not dropped a set— let alone a match — in two months coming into this game.

This gesture from the two-time Wimbledon winner comes in as a lesson for all the bad boys in the sport that has been regarded notoriously for its original superbrat likes of John McEnroe.

 

 

15-13 in the fifth set. A #Wimbledon epic. : @besolomon . #ManicMonday #Muller #Nadal #instasport #tennis

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Leading the line in the current generation is Australia’s Nick Kyrgios. Carrying a vendetta against his rackets over the years, he most recently smashed a few at this year’s Roland Garros; that too with unabashedly unapologetic behavior.

 

He even hit opponent Stan Wawrinka below the belt in 2015 when he made disrespectful remarks about the Swiss’ girlfriend during a match.

 

Former World number 1 Novak Djokovic has also had a reputation for being a sore loser. His “I don’t want to play anymore” remarks to the chair umpire during his 6-3 6-3 loss to Andy Murray in the finals of the Rome Masters last year didn’t go down too well with majority of the fans. It was one of the many un-sportsman-like incidents that the Serb has been a part of.

 

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