Rafael Nadal incredible prize money gesture revealed at French Open
RAFAEL NADAL has revealed all on the moment he turned down prize money offered to him in Acapulco.
Under new rules brought in this year, players could forfeit their prize money if they retire from first-round singles matches before the start of the tournament.
However, they will be able to claim 50 per cent of their prize money if they pull out before their first match, an incentive designed to allow a replacement to play instead.
Nadal was in that very situation in February when he withdrew at late notice from the ATP 500 Acapulco after suffering an injury setback.
But instead of taking the money that he was due, the Spaniard gave it back into the tournament pot.
Speaking at the French Open after beating Guido Pella, Nadal said: "At the end of the day, even when you're retired, you can take the prize money or you cannot.
"That's the position I was in Acapulco, I retired, I was inside the draw and they asked me if I wanted the prize money and I say no, because I believe it was fair enough that I don't need that prize money so the player who was in has to win that prize money.
"He deserves it, he was in, no? But it is good that you have the decision, because then if you go inside and you retired, is not nice for nobody."
World No.43 Peter Gojowczyk was fined around £22,000 for failing to perform at the ‘required professional standard’ in his first round match at the French Open.
Gojowczyk retired whilst trailing 6-2 2-0 to Cameron Norrie after 41 minutes of action at the French Open, insisting afterwards he had a hip and groin injury.
Quizzed on the decision to fine him, Nadal said: "I think it is a good rule, because there is a lot of money on the Slams.
"For a lot of players, that they are inside the tournament of a Grand Slam and they have a physical problem in that week, just playing tournament helps a lot to save the year.
Because it looks very nice on the prize money, but then you have to pay tax, then you pay coaches, then you pay all the travels. And every year the expenses are high.
"So the amount of money that we are -- is not that much comparing what the prize money says. I'm not talking for myself, obviously.
But for a lot of players be inside a Grand Slam tournament is a big help for keep surviving, no?
"So I believe is fair that if they are inside and they have the chance to retire than keep winning the money is win to win, no?
"The tournament wins because there is no bad players or sick players playing, and for them, he deserve, because he made the right things to be there and he deserve that prize money so they still get it."