Rafael Nadal is back in his hometown of Mallorca, after winning his record 13th French Open title on Sunday. The Spaniard defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win the final, in the process equaling Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 Slams.
Only about 1,000-odd supporters were able to see Nadal lift the La Coupe des Mousquetaires on Sunday at Court Philippe Chatrier, due to the pandemic-enforced restrictions. But now more fans will be able to get a glimpse of the trophy he won - at his academy in Manacor.
In a video message posted on the Rafa Nadal Academy's social media accounts, Nadal informed his followers that the trophy he won on Sunday would be displayed at the museum there.
He also reminded fans that those who visited the museum would be contributing towards the Rafa Nadal Foundation and the various projects it supports.
"I would like to say that I'm leaving the trophy here in the museum at the Academy, in Manacor, for those who want to come and see it. Remember that all of you that come here to see it are helping in a very important way so that the Foundation and its projects can become more and more important and we can get to help more people who really need it," Rafael Nadal said.
The Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience exhibits the major titles won by the Spaniard as well as other memorabilia from his career. As per the Marca website, it also exhibits memorabilia donated by other athletes such as Michael Jordan, Fernando Alonso, Pau Gasol, Roger Federer, Mireia Belmonte, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rafael Nadal says winning French Open in the midst of a pandemic is a bittersweet feeling
In the message Rafael Nadal also spoke about being happy and satisfied with his latest triumph, but acknowledged that it was overall a bittersweet feeling given the worldwide situation.
"It's for sure a bittersweet feeling because we have been through a few very complicated months for different reasons but the main one is the health. We are facing a pandemic that is affecting us worldwide and we all suffer with it. The second is the economic issues that have come out of the pandemic and is causing so many families to have a hard time," the 34-year-old said.
Rafael Nadal also expressed hope that the situation would improve soon through a vaccine or another solution, so that everyone could go back to living in a more pleasant world.
One of the major differences following the lockdown has been the absence of fans - or a limited number of them - at tennis tournaments. Rafael Nadal addressed his fans in the message and thanked them for their support in recent months.
"I also wanted to thank you for all the messages of support during these last weeks. For me although we have been a little further away than usual since we have not been able to have a direct contact with the fans the fact that I have received so many messages of support through social media or directly to my phone, they have helped me without any doubt. So thank you very much for all the support," Nadal said.Published 14 Oct 2020, 20:19 IST