Rafael Nadal’s academy recently penned a message of support for Ukrainian tennis player Leonid Stanislavskyi on Instagram and Twitter. Stanislavskyi, who holds a Guinness World Record for being the world’s oldest tennis player at 97, is a big fan of the 21-time Major champion.
Stanislavskyi recently gave an interview to Reuters where he mentioned that he is still in Ukraine even as the war against Russia rages on. He revealed that his daughter had the facilities to take him to Poland, where she resides, but that he wants to remain in his motherland.
Meanwhile, the academy’s social media accounts penned a short but heartfelt message for the 97-year-old, recalling his visit to Manacor last year, when he even played a few points against Nadal.
“Dear Leonid 🇺🇦, From the #RafaNadalAcademy by Movistar we send you all our strength and support in these difficult times,” the academy wrote. “We were very excited about your visit to the Academy last year. We hope that when all this is over you can come back to Mallorca to play on our courts! Thanks to RNA coach @nata.mordasova 🇺🇦for being an example of strength and solidarity here at the Academy.” #TennisPlaysForPeace
In his chat with Reuters, Leonid Stanislavskyi expressed his desire to “live to reach” the age of 100. He also assured everyone that his fridge was fully stocked with supplies and that he did not plan on leaving his house till the war was over.
“I hope I live to reach 100. I have to survive this frightening situation,” Leonid Stanislavskyi said during a chat with Reuters. “The war started on (February) 24th. From the 24th till now I have practically not gone out. I’ve stayed at home… I have supplies, the fridge is full. I’m sitting at home, not going anywhere.”
Leonid Stanislavskyi, who holds an International Tennis Federation (ITF) license, was invited to Rafael Nadal’s academy last October. He met the Mallorca and played a few points with him, surprising everyone with his racket skills despite being 97.
The Ukrainian also took a tour of the Rafa Nadal Museum, where he witnessed all the titles and laurels collected by the Spaniard over the span of his career.