Toni Nadal Reveals How Kids Leveraged Rafael Nadal at His Academy During the COVID-19 Break

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December 7, 2020 9:58 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic headlined the year 2020. It affected the tennis world as the sport was sidelined for over six months. World No.2 Rafael Nadal, during this period, practiced at his Rafa Nadal Academy. As the academy has several young talents, they played a part in Rafa’s practice sessions for three months. Some even got the chance to practice with the 20-time Grand Slam champ.

Rafael Nadal during his ATP Finals 2020 match. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Because of the pandemic, the children at the academy didn’t get to practice much or play tournaments until late September. But, when the lockdown was lifted in Spain, Nadal had started his practice to keep his body in shape. And thus the children at the academy got the chance to practice with the Spaniard.

The academy is headed by Rafa Nadal’s uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal. And now the academy is churning out top talents like Jaume Munar and Casper Ruud.

“For three months Rafael was practicing every day with the kids from the academy. It’s very good for the kids to have good players training here,” Toni Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his group stage match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Rafael Nadal and other top players practice at Rafa Nadal Academy

It is now a regular sight now of having top players practice at Rafa Nadal Academy. Grigor Dimitrov recently practiced and in the past Andy Murray has also used it as well.

“Now the youngsters at the academy can often see players like Rafael, Jaume Munar or Casper Ruud. Grigor Dimitrov and Pablo Andujar were also at the academy this summer. For the young to have the possibility to watch these players is unbelievable,”  Toni Nadal said.

Rafa Nadal has returned to his academy to prepare for 2021. He will surely train extensively as the Australian Open has been delayed and there could be limited training options when he quarantines in Australia.

Read MoreRafael Nadal Asserts Why ‘Emotional Stability’ Is Important for a Tennis Player

Bhavishya Mittal

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport. Bhavishya admires the fast and grueling nature of 21st-century tennis with him considering Roger Federer a standout performer.

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