Nadal 'heartbroken' over referendum clashes

Updated: 

Rafael Nadal has revealed his deep angst over the events that unfolded surrounding the Catalan independence referendum in his home country.

The Spaniard, in Beijing ahead of the China Open, was evidently emotional when speaking about the scenes that played out on Sunday.

Clashes involving riot police and protesters took place as the region went to the polls in a vote which Spain's national government has declared to be unconstitutional and illegal.

World number one Nadal, who described himself as "heartbroken", said: "I personally feel like crying when I see that in a country where we have known how to live together and to be a good example around the world we come to the situation that arrived [on Sunday].

"I think the image which we have transmitted is negative.

"It is not the moment to look for guilty, although there are."

On his hopes for a resolution to the trouble, the 16-time grand slam champion added: "The only way is to speak, talk between the parties in conflict, try to reach agreements."

The situation has had an impact on the sporting domain, with Barcelona's LaLiga match against Las Palmas on Sunday played behind closed doors.