Tennis players are known to have strange match rituals. Rafael Nadal tops the list and has one of the most eccentric routines on the court. The Spaniard is quite famous for his unique match quirks. However, many doubt Rafael Nadal’s rituals and feel that he suffers from OCD – obsessive-compulsive disorder. Nadal contradicts the popular judgement.
The Mallorcan has a list of superstitions, which he refers to as his routine. He has a series of well-documented habits which apparently helps him to stay focus in the game. Even though he denies suffering from an OCD, he needs these things to be done in a certain and exact way before, after and during his matches.
When Nadal enters the court, he places his energy drink slightly in front of his water bottle. He also makes sure that both labels on the bottles are perfectly facing the court. At every change of ends, he takes sips from the two bottles and ensures they’re perfectly aligned to the court where he is going to play.
“I put the two bottles down at my feet, in front of my chair to my left, one neatly behind the other, diagonally aimed at the court. Some call it superstition, but it’s not. If it were superstition, why would I keep doing the same thing over and over whether I win or lose? It’s a way of placing myself in a match, ordering my surroundings to match the order I seek in my head.” said Nadal.
One of the other famous Rafael Nadal’s ritual includes his routine before serving. He places his hair behind his ear, pulls his nose and adjusts his shorts while bouncing the ball. Furthermore, he towels himself after each and every point. Many accuse Nadal to use this routine as a tactic to break the momentum and rhythm of his opponents. However, Nadal explained that these routines are for his psychological benefits.
“It is something you start to do that is like a routine. When I do these things it means I am focused, I am competing – it’s something I don’t need to do but when I do it, it means I’m focused”, he added.