At the age of 36, Rafael Nadal won his fourteenth Roland-Garros title on Sunday, June 5th. controlled by Nor Casper Ruud (6-3, 6-3, 6-0). Seventeen years have passed between his first and 22nd Grand Slam titles. But do you really know “Bull Manacor”? Afraid of the dark, a Tiger Woods fan, performing in Shakira’s music video … Here are fourteen things you may not have known about the Spaniard.
1He’s right-handed every day
His left arm is afraid of all rivals on the courts. But in everyday life, the Spaniard speaks with his right hand. In his autobiography, published in 2012, Nadal explains how he became a left-handed tennis player in about 10 years: “When I was little, because I lacked strength, I played all the shots with both hands and my uncle said to me: “No professionals play like this, we won’t innovate, you have to change.” The left naturally won. “
2His jokes help him concentrate
In addition to incredible results, Nadal, a bit superstitious, is also known for his rituals on the court. Well-balanced bottles, clothes adjustments, cleaning service lines… “If I don’t do it with the bottles, I’ll sit down and I can think of things other than the game. When I keep doing the same things, it means I’m concentrating in competition mode and I’m only willing to think about tennis.”
3He is a fan of Real Madrid
The Majorcan never hid his love for Real Madrid. The tennis player, an honorary member of the club since 2011, was invited to the Champions League final at the Stade de France between Merengues and Liverpool on May 28 and explained that he was having difficulty arriving in Saint-Denis. “I had to get out of the car on the highway and finish on foot.”
Rafa Nadal: “I’m a big football fan and Real Madrid is my favorite club. It’s a club I support and love, it’s really a part of my life. ” [la leyenda blanca] pic.twitter.com/VlA9tcoIXS
– SB (@Realmadridplace) February 11, 2022
4One of his uncles played for Barca
If the family is a fan of Real Madrid, it’s in a competitive club that evolved over time, Miguel Angel Nadal, one of Raf’s two uncles. The player with 62 matches in the national team played for FC Barcelona from 1991 to 1999.
5 An asteroid in his name
Since 2008, it has not been one, but two Rafael Nadals. The tennis player was named after an asteroid discovered five years earlier by researchers at the Astronomical Observatory in Mallorca. The star, located between Mars and Jupiter, measures an average of 4 kilometers and moves at a speed of 20 kilometers per second.
6He appeared in Shakira’s music video
In 2010, the Spaniard stepped out of his comfort zone by appearing in a clip of a Colombian singer, gypsy. The 24-year-old was playing Shakira’s friend at the time, which caused a stir.
7He has his statue on Roland-Garros
In June 2021, the organizers of the Paris Grand Slam decided to pay tribute to the Mallorca champion, then thirteen-time winner Porte d’Auteuil, by inaugurating the statue in its form. Designed by Spanish sculptor Jordi Díez Fernandes, this stainless steel sculpture measures three meters in height and represents the Majorcan champion showing a forehand with his mouth open and his feet above the ground.
In honor of the biggest champion Roland-Garros and href = “https://twitter.com/RafaelNadal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”> @RafaelNadal inaugurated his statue at Roland-Garros Stadium this Thursday #Roland Garros
– Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) May 27, 2021
8He plays golf with a handicap
Sometimes Rafael Nadal exchanges a racket for a golf club. Used to greens, he has a handicap of +0.3, a level considered professional.
Rafa Nadala’s golf swing is so tennis pic.twitter.com/qGDRcv5VsS
—Zephyr Melton (@zephyrmelton) October 22, 2021
9He’s a Tiger Woods fan
Agile with a golf club in hand The Majorcan closely watches the performance of the American golfer Tiger Woods, his sports idol. “I always said I didn’t have a pattern, but if I had one, I’d have to say it’s him.” said in 2019. He is a great inspiration. He fought so hard in everything he did in sports, he was always an example. I hope to play golf together one day. “
10He hesitated between tennis and football
From the age of 3 to 13, Rafael Nadal played football and tennis before finally choosing the yellow ball. Ten years of playing with a round ball, which explains why a man with 22 grand slams is so agile when he walks on tennis courts.
Rafael Nadal definitely knows how to do everything with a little yellow ball #HomeOfTennis
– Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) May 5, 2021
11His career began in Auray
The Spanish’s first success came in Morbihan. In 1998, then 11-year-old, Rafael Nadal won the Auray Open Super 12, an international youth tournament, against Jamie Murray.
12It is achluophobic
Even champions have mistakes. Nadal recently opened his fear of darkness. “Being alone at night makes me very nervous. I can’t sleep in my bed. So I’m sleeping on the couch, the TV on, said the Italian show Che Tempo Che Fa in May at a tournament in Rome. I’m not too brave in the face of things in life. In tennis, yes, but not in everything else. “
13He never broke the rocket
Nadal is the complete opposite of John McEnroe or Marat Safin, who is known for his tantrums and rocket throwing. “When I was little, my uncle told me: If you drop a rocket, I’ll stop training you. He explained to me that I had to be considerate of my rocket. If I hit, it’s my fault, not the object’s fault. ”
14He listens to Julius Iglesias and Bon Jovi
Like most current players, the Spaniard listens to music during warm-up before entering the court. When asked about his musical taste, Nadal replied in 2009 that if he had to keep only three songs, he would choose back to you by Brian Adams, In these weapons from Bon Jovi and Friend friend, old man lähde: Julia Iglesiase.