In an interview as quoted by ATP Tomeu Salva opened up on how his friendship with Rafael Nadal started. Salva said: "We were seven years old. He was playing in the Tennis Club Manacor with his uncle and I was living in a very close place, but I was also going to school in Manacor.
The first time I saw Rafa was in his club. It was my first tournament and I faced him in the second round. I lost 6-0 6-0. I had no chances. I wanted to get surrounded by players like him, if I wanted to keep evolving. When i left the court I invited him to come home.
Obviously he told me that not... Because we did not know each other at all!" "I started competing, which meant we would spend more time in tournaments. We started training together and keep a good friendship. We shared much more things until that at 12 or 13 years we started in the Balearic Federation in Palma."
At 14 years of age Salva went to practice in Barcelona, while Nadal stayed in Mallorca with his uncle. "We split for some years. We kept seeing each other but less for the distance. We did not coincide each other in the tournaments anymore, but we kept a daily contact."
Then at 21 Salva came back to Mallorca: "I started working in the Balearic Federation and I teached for six or seven years until I was asked to start the project of the Academy. We started developing a tennis school and I ended up being involved in the project of the Rafa Nadal Academy."