Shirt swaps in tennis? Has Rafael Nadal’s beaten opponent Pedro Cachin started a trend?

Will we see shirt-swapping in tennis after Pedro Cachin asked the legendary Rafael Nadal for a souvenir at the Madrid Open?; you can watch over 80 tournaments a year, including the US Open, exclusively live on Sky Sports Tennis

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Pedro Cachin asked Rafael Nadal for his shirt after being beaten by him at the Madrid Open

We see it in many other sports including football and NBA but will we be seeing shirt-swapping become part and parcel at the end of a tennis match? Rafael Nadal’s beaten opponent Pedro Cachin may just have started a trend.

After taking more than three hours of Nadal’s time on court, Cachin wanted one more thing from the 22-time Grand Slam champion – his shirt!

Cachin, an Argentine with one career ATP title, stretched the 37-year-old over three sets.

The Spaniard won their third-round match in the Caja Magica but Cachin was eager to meet him again at the net.

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Image: The day wasn't a total loss for world No 91 Cachin at La Caja Magica

“Thank you very much, you fulfilled my dream,” Cachin said. “I don’t know if you can but I want to ask you, can I keep your shirt or towel or something?

“Yes, I’ll give it to you, of course,” Nadal responded. “Good luck with everything.”

Nadal shook hands with the chair umpire and waved to the crowd before going to his bag. He grabbed one of his match shirts and a bandanna and gave them to Cachin.

For Cachin, the day wasn’t a total loss.

Nadal is a legend of the sport and the clay court GOAT but could this moment at the net start a trend in tennis?

During his press-conference, Cachin said: “I told him what I always wanted to tell him: I fulfilled a dream. I will hang the shirt with a photo of the game, I will try to get it signed. I am a normal person, every dream I fulfil I like to take with me a memory. It fills my soul.”

Image: Cachin shared a photo of Nadal's shirt on social media shortly after their match

He later shared a photo of the shirt on Instagram stories after their match in Madrid. “Thank you Rafael Nadal, it was a dream.”

Journalists have criticised Nadal’s shirt gifting but fans have called it sportsmanship at its finest. Should Cachin have waited until they got into the locker room?

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In a social media spat with British sports broadcaster David Law, Nick Kyrgios took to X to explain his reasons why it wasn’t an issue for him, saying: “Why? NBA players, soccer players do it all the time? It’s a memory, an experience that took a life time of work and that less than 1 per cent of humans get to. You wouldn’t understand.”

World No 1 Iga Swiatek says she would have asked for Nadal shirt too if she ever played him in a match, saying: “If I would play against Rafa, for sure I would ask for a shirt. But that’s not possible [smiling].”

Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane once famously blasted Eden Hazard for swapping shirts with Angel Di Maria at half-time of Chelsea’s Champions League last 16 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in 2016.

“It’s bad enough at the end of the game, but half-time in a big game, the two guys swapping shirts? It’s shocking,” said the former Manchester United captain.

What would Keane make of Cachin’s moment at the net?

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Former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was ‘surprised’ by the players swapping their shirts after the 6-1 thrashing at Newcastle last April

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