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Rafael Nadal celebrates birthday with surprise cake at his academy

Rafael Nadal would be aiming to win the French Open for the 13th time this year
Rafael Nadal would be aiming to win the French Open for the 13th time this year
Shruti Sinha
ANALYST
Modified 03 Jun 2020
News

In other years, 3 June would have meant Rafael Nadal cutting a cake on the Roland Garros terrace and planning to extend his domination on the terre battue of Paris. But with the world battling the coronavirus outbreak and the French Open postponed, it is a very different picture this year.

Rafael Nadal was still able to celebrate his 34th birthday in style though, thanks to a wonderful surprise arranged at the Rafa Nadal Academy - where the Spaniard is now training every day.

To make up for the absence of Roland Garros, the 12-time French Open winner was presented with a claycourt-themed birthday cake that had tennis balls as well as Nadal's bull logo as decoration.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion later shared a video of the celebrations on his social media accounts and thanked his academy for the wonderful surprise.

"Thank you very much for the surprise and congratulations on my birthday. SPECTACULAR cake!!!" wrote the World No. 2.

The video shows a smiling Rafael Nadal entering the court while his academy's kids all chant "Happy Birthday to you" . Amidst resounding applause, Nadal thanked the kids for the lovely arrangement.

We replaced the Roland Garros terrace with Zoom: Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal with his birthday cake on his 31st birthday
Rafael Nadal with his birthday cake on his 31st birthday
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This is a stark departure from Nadal's traditional celebrations in the French capital, where he has spent his last 15 birthdays. He has even notched up some of his most famous victories on 3 June; his first-ever Roland Garros semi-final win over Roger Federer came on this day in 2005.

Nadal was recently asked by France TV Sport about how different his birthday celebrations would be this time. The four-time US Open winner acknowledged that it wouldn't be like other years, but pointed out how he can use Zoom to get in touch with his loved ones.

"We replaced the terrace with Zoom, that's how it is! There is nothing else to do other than that right now. You have to do with what you have, and what you have today is meetings on Zoom and not on the Roland-Garros terrace."

Birthday wishes pour in for Rafael Nadal

Celebrating a birthday at Roland Garros has been a tradition for Nadal
Celebrating a birthday at Roland Garros has been a tradition for Nadal
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Rafael Nadal might not be unloading his ferocious forehand on clay right now, but that hasn't stopped the birthday wishes from pouring in. ATP's official handle released a video wishing the champion, where Nadal's peers talk about what makes him so great.

Tennis TV, meanwhile, honored the Spanish legend with a highlights reel of 34 of his most incredible shots.

And Roland Garros shared photos of the past birthday celebrations of their most successful player.

Published 03 Jun 2020, 19:54 IST
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