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Rafael Nadal: ‘I had injuries but I never lost motivation’

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The Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy has finally reopened its doors. The courts of Manacor were once again able to host the World number 2 Rafael Nadal and – above all – to all the boys who train right in his school. The 19-time Grand Slam champion had already started training in the last few days, but now he has been able to do it on his court, waiting for a resumption of the official circuit.

Nadal

Nadal: ‘Training without goals is boring’
“Steps forward help you better in your game and in your career. I wanted to continue improving. I had injuries but I never lost motivation. At almost 34 years old, I am still fighting for the most important things and I did not imagine it” – Rafael Nadal explained in an interview with Argentina’s Jose Luis Clerc on ESPN.

The Spaniard champion then proceeded to mention that his focus in training has always been to improve various facets of his game. “If it doesn’t get better it becomes boring. Training without goals is boring. One has to look for motivations.

I am not alive only with the dream of winning things. Improvements help earn things. The real objective is to keep improving. You have to listen to those who help me and I have by my side because things are seen more clearly from the outside”.

Nadal is a clay court specialist in the sense that he has been extremely successful on that surface. He has won 12 times at the French Open, 11 times at Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and nine at Rome. However, Nadal has shed that label owing to his success on other surfaces, including holding simultaneous Grand Slam tournament titles on grass, hard courts, and clay on two separate occasions, winning ten Masters series titles on hard court, and winning the Olympic gold medal on hardcourt.

Despite praise for Nadal’s talent and skill, in the past, some had questioned his longevity in the sport, citing his build and playing style as conducive to injury. Nadal himself has admitted to the physical toll hard courts place on ATP Tour players, calling for a reevaluated tour schedule featuring fewer hard court tournaments.

This “longevity” narrative has proved to be inaccurate and pundits today admire his resilience. Rafa owns and trains at the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre (40,000 square meters) in his hometown of Manacor, Mallorca. The centre houses the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy, where the American International School of Mallorca is located.

Also located in the centre is a sports residence, a Rafael Nadal museum, a health clinic, a fitness centre with spa and a café. The facility has 26 tennis courts among its sporting areas.

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We spread rumours of Rafael Nadal doping’ because he was too good, says French star

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Gilles Simon believes doping rumours were spread about Rafael Nadal as many were uncomfortable with the idea he could simply be better than Roger Federer.

There were allegations of a connection between Nadal and Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor who was ultimately jailed for his part in a Spanish cycle doping scandal.

No evidence has ever been produced linking Fuentes to Nadal, though, who has always very successfully denied any rumours to the contrary.

However, Simon believes the rumours only existed to discredit opinions that Nadal could actually be a better tennis players than Federer rather than just a better athlete.

“It is difficult to conceive [for some] that, in terms of game, Rafael Nadal could be better than Roger Federer,” Gilles Simon wrote in his new autobiography This Sport That Makes You Crazy

“We even spread rumours of doping on his account.

“Nadal does not fit into the framework. Moreover, I emphasize here that we never talk about the physique of Federer, who has little to envy that of Nadal.

“That he went five sets at 35 like what he did in Australia in 2017, it’s extraordinary. But no one noted this point.”

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