World no. 2 Rafael Nadal arrived in Kuwait for the first time a couple of days ago, opening the brand-new Rafa Nadal Academy and one of the most advanced tennis complex in that part of the world. Following the quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open, Nadal had to step down from the ATP throne and leave it to Novak Djokovic, taking some time off the court to visit Kuwait and open his Academy, inviting his good friend David Ferrer to join him on a special day.
Opened in 2016, Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Mallorca has gathered some of the most promising juniors from all over the world, offering them a chance to work at the top-tier facility and improve their game with best coaches and often under the close eye of the 19-time Major champion Rafael Nadal himself.
Besides the Academy in his native Manacor, Nadal had also launched the "Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre" in Mexico and Greece, with Kuwait as the next destination where he wants to take the local level of tennis to a higher level and bring the sport closer to both kids and professionals.
Joining forces with property developer Tamdeen Group, Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar produces a brand-new Shaikh Jaber Al Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah International Tennis Complex in Kuwait, one of the most significant sports initiative originated with Kuwait Public Authority for Sport.
State of the art complex includes 18 courts, eight outdoor, eight indoor, an open court with 1,500 seats and covered arena with more than 5,000 seats. The show court staged an exhibition match between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer on Wednesday, with world no.
2 beating Barcelona Open tournament director 6-4 6-3 after an entertaining and fun battle on the brand-new court. Ferrer, who retired in May last year, netted a backhand to lose serve in the first game, holding with a service winner to get his name on the scoreboard at 0-2 and pulling the break back with a forehand winner in the fourth game to level the score at 2-2.
Rafa grabbed another break at 3-3 and closed the opener with a perfect half-volley in the tenth game for a 6-4. David survived a challenging third game of the second set before Nadal broke him at 3-3 with a volley winner, securing the eighth game with a forehand down the line winner and moving over the top with another break in game nine.