In an interview to Spiegel.de Rafael Nadal was asked if the private life can influence the career of an athlete. The Spaniard has been dating his girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello for 14 years and they are set to get married in October.
Nadal said: "Definitely, and in my happiness as well. I do not feel any need to showcase my private life. I understand why some people would be interested, but I firmly believe that I need to maintain a certain level of secrecy.
I was never tempted to join a big club – but then again, there was nothing like the Rafael Nadal Academy in Europe when I started out. At that time, I preferred to stay home and train with my very dedicated uncle Toni."
On how he approaches a match, Nadal said: "I eat something light and I start warming up 45 minutes before the game. I try to stay rested and focused. As regards well-being, I enjoy going to the spa from time to time at my academy in Mallorca, but I avoid doing it too often.
Too much spa is not good to play tennis! Maybe that will change when my career is over. Besides that, I listen to Spanish and Latin music to help me concentrate. I am a big fan of Julio Iglesias in particular." Asked how his normal day in his life is, Nadal replied: "When I am here in Mallorca, I usually always train in the morning; I do some physiotherapy and play some tennis and then, in the afternoon, I spend time with my family and friends.
I always try to do my best and there will always be people who like it and people who don’t, but I don’t expect to be an example to anyone. If I am, and I am able to be a positive influence, then that’s great."