Rafael Nadal was presented the Person of the Year award by the Spanish edition of Vanity Fair, a magazine of pop culture, fashion and current affairs, at the Italian consulate in Madrid on Monday.
Vanity Fair announced it selected Nadal on his accomplishments as an athlete and on the good works of the Rafa Nadal Foundation. The prize is presented to an individual deemed to exercise the "most influence" on society "in any of its spheres." Last year's recipient was Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
During his acceptance speech, Nadal thanked the magazine and its readers for the award, emphasising how much their support meant in a challenging time. Nadal has not played competitively since 28 June, when he lost to World No. 100 Lukas Rosol 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the Wimbledon second round.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, published on Monday, Nadal said, "I don't know how long I will keep playing tennis. I'll be 31 in five years and taking into account the fact that I started at 16.
"Perhaps stopping now will help extend my career a little bit more. Until I had the problems with the knee again, the final at Roland Garros, had been one of the best seasons of my life. I felt able to win any competition. Complicated times came later."