The Rafa Nadal Academy, founded by Rafael Nadal in 2016, has welcomed a bevvy of top players during its four years of existence.
Located in Rafael Nadal's home city of Manacor in the Spanish island of Mallorca, the Rafa Nadal Academy is a world-class sporting centre. The first batch of graduates at the Academy were welcomed by none other than Roger Federer, among a host of tennis personalities, during an official inauguration ceremony in October 2016.
Incidentally, at that time, both Federer and Nadal were away from the tour due to injuries.
A closer look at Rafael Nadal's academy in Mallorca
The Rafa Nadal Academy in Nadal's home city features 26 tennis courts that include both hardcourt and clay. In addition, it also has a football field, squash court, player gym and lodging, along with a host of other facilities.
The international tennis academy combines tennis and education so that its young graduates do not miss out on their academic growth. The academy focuses a lot of its attention on young players, but has specific training regimes customized for adult players.
The team at the Rafa Nadal Academy comprises of a group of experienced coaches under the tutelage of Rafael Nadal's uncle and long-time coach Toni Nadal.
In 2016, the Academy welcomed Andy Murray to its courts, facilitating his practice sessions. Three years later, the recuperating Scot, on the comeback trail, played a Challenger Tournament at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, where he reached the third round.
Two days after leading his team to the Laver Cup title in Geneva, the legendary Bjorn Borg visited the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca. The 11-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 lauded the facilities at the Rafa Nadal Academy in no uncertain words.
I'm very happy to have come to the Rafa Nadal Academy," Borg said. "I’d heard good things about this place, but spending three days here has confirmed it, it’s incredible. I have really enjoyed myself. I would invite you all to come and see it and to play here.
"The quality of the training is very good and I think they’ve done a great job. This is why my son has come here, I’m very happy about that and I hope that many others come in the future because the Academy is very good,” Borg added.
The only player in the Open Era to win the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double in three consecutive years, Borg was moved by nostalgia when he saw Nadal's Roland Garros titles in the Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience section of the Academy.
"I’m in his zone, but also in mine."
Borg's 16-year-old son, Leo, recently shifted base to the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca after spending seven years at the Royal Lawn Tennis club in Sweden.
How has the Rafa Nadal Academy contributed towards COVID-19 relief?
The left-hander said that all the students, who have been confined indoors for a month, are being looked after by the coaches at the Academy. Nadal also said that he was in touch with the parents of the kids.
"I just told them that in some way they (the kids) are a little bit better than most of the people because they are inside the Academy and they can share all these tough moments with friends because they are 80 friends there with coaches and psychologists," Nadal said.Published 12 May 2020, 21:06 IST