The Spaniard's stellar 2008 has earned him another gong - the Prince of Asturias prize for sport...

Nadal receives another princely prize



Originally published on 26/02/10 11:18

Two Grand Slams, an Olympic gold medal, and the world No.1 ranking – all up, Rafael Nadal is probably quietly satisfied with the way his year has panned out.

And this week the Spaniard has received yet another title – the 2008 Prince of Asturias prize for sport.

“Off the court, for me the Prince of Asturias prize is the most important they could give me”

Nadal is the year’s first recipient of the eight awards, which honour individuals for outstanding achievements in the arts, social sciences, communication and humanities, international cooperation, sports, technical and scientific research, and letters.

While they may not have the same international renown, the awards have acquired a prestige comparable with the the Nobel Prizes – a fact not lost on the world No.1.

“I’ve said on several occasions that, off the court, for me the Prince of Asturias prize is the most important they could give me,” the Spaniard said, before adding that the award was another highlight of the most special year of his career to date.

Nadal is not the first tennis player to receive the award, established in 1980 by the Spanish crown prince, His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias.

Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Steffi Graf have been honoured in the past, making Nadal the first male tennis player to receive the award – an honour not yet bestowed on his great rival and the man he dethroned to become world No.1, Roger Federer.

But the Spaniard believes that if he is worthy of the title, there is no doubt that the Swiss maestro is as well.

“It’s clear that Federer deserves this award at least as much as I do,” he said at a press conference. “Sharing it with him would have been an honour.”

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