Insider recalls when Rafael Nadal asked for a bowl of dates on-court

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Insider recalls when Rafael Nadal asked for a bowl of dates on-court

In an interview to the Rolex Shanghai Masters, the Tournament Referee, Dr. Ed Hardisty, spoke about the good and possibly bad things about his job. Hardisty said: “The hardest part of my job is actually getting players on the court.

You’ve got to find them – they may be in the locker room, gym, or bathroom – and then get them ready to go on court together. It gets more complicated if you have one of the Top 8 seeds playing as they have separate locker rooms”.

Hardisty also revealed some anecdotes: “I remember Rafael Nadal asking for a bowl of dates on-court for his match one year. We had to scramble to find them in the players’ restaurant, but after that, we always had a bowl ready for him.

Some players like towels with the tournament logo whereas others like plain white towels. We also pre-launder the towels so that they’re extra fluffy and absorbent for the players”. Hardisty feels confident about the future of the Asian tennis: “It’s only a matter of time before China produces top-class male players like they’ve done with the women.

Everybody said the Chinese were too small to do well, but Michael Chang proved them wrong with his French Open win. He let the world know you can be small but very professional and successful in this game. I’m sure there will be a flood of top-flight Chinese players, but it takes time; it won’t happen overnight”.