Mohammad Al Ghareeb: 'Rafa Nadal Academy is a win-win situation for tennis in Kuwait'


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Mohammad Al Ghareeb: 'Rafa Nadal Academy is a win-win situation for tennis in Kuwait'

Alongside his incredible legacy left on the tennis court in the last two decades, the 19-time Major champion Rafael Nadal has been thinking about the future stars and an impact on their development, opening Rafa Nadal Academy at home in Manacor in 2016.

Gathering some of the most promising juniors who train in the best facilities and with leading coaches, the Academy has already produced successful youngsters at both the ATP and junior level, offering them a chance to work and learn from one of the most accomplished players of all time.

Not stopping there, Nadal also launched the "Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre" in Mexico and Greece, exploring new grounds and embracing another massive project in Kuwait where he opened the second Academy on February 5.

Joining forces with property developer Tamdeen Group, Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar developed a brand-new Shaikh Jaber Al Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah International Tennis Complex in Kuwait, a state-of-the-art complex that includes 18 courts (covered arena with more than 5,000 seats), restaurants and a five-star hotel with 300 rooms.

The most decorated player in the Kuwaiti Davis Cup history Mohammad Al Ghareeb spoke highly about Nadal and the new Academy, seeing it as a massive chance for the youngsters from the region to work and improve their game with some of the best coaches in the business.

"It's always good to have teamwork in sport," Al Ghareeb said. "With the arrival of the Rafa Nadal Academy, we will have access to the best coaches and some of the best players in the world; this is a win-win situation for tennis here.

The coaches already have a fair idea of what our players are. And now, with the Academy opening here, it can attract more kids to come and join. It can only do good for the youngsters, their families and tennis in Kuwait. In a way, we feel responsible for these younger players.

They look up to us and it is our responsibility to pass on the finer aspects of the sport to them; with the arrival of the Rafa Nadal Academy, this weight has been eased off to a certain extent." "I have always loved this region.

This is one place where I feel welcomed. It's as though I have a certain attachment to the Gulf," Nadal said. "I have been to the Dubai tournament a few times during my early years as a player. I have also played quite often in Doha and at the Mubadala Tennis in Abu Dhabi.

I have great memories of these places over the years. It is not like I am 25 years old anymore but I will be more than happy to move around more a bit in the next few years for sure. I would want to see the progress of these kids from Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. I want to be around to encourage them."