PAVING THE WAY
Last week Rafael Nadal returned to his hometown of Mallorca, Spain, to inaugurate his first tennis academy in the small Mediterranean town. Longtime friend and occasional foe Roger Federer joined the Spaniard in the academy’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, where Nadal presented him with a framed poster of the greatest moments in their combined history.
“If you look at this academy, you can see that it is something special where he, his family and friends have been very involved. His work ethic is right there at the top and he can share his values and experience with the kids,” said Federer of Nadal's undertaking.
Nadal’s uncle and long-time coach, Toni, will manage the day-to-day operations of the academy alongside Carlos Costa, his agent. Nadal alluded that there may be another academy on the way in the future but Mallorca’s will always be first and nearest to his heart.
"It's where I live, where I'm going to live, and it's the only chance to really be involved with the project. Having the academy here, I'm here every day so I can see, I can be close to the kids, I can be close to the coaches. I can really enjoy all the process.”