Opened in May 2016, Rafa Nadal Academy has been carrying the vision of one of the greatest players of all time onto the new generation of tennis stars, welcoming them at the state of the art facility in Nadal's hometown of Manacor.
The Academy offers the best possible conditions for the upcoming youngster, giving them a chance to work on their game together with highly-skilled and trained coaches. Also, some already established players train in Mallorca regularly, often with Nadal himself, including Casper Ruud and Jaume Munar.
The recent setbacks with the coronavirus pandemic have forced the Academy to close its doors, taking good care of all the people who are currently on the site of the Academy. The pandemic has halted all the action at least until the second part of July (probably for much longer) and the players are already thinking about the way to train and compete, eager to maintain the form ahead of the possible restart of the season.
For that reason, Nadal has offered his Academy as the gathering point for many of them, calling numerous ATP and WTA stars to come to Manacor once the situation gets a little bit better and work on their game in the next couple of months.
Rafa would also love to see some televised matches between the top-ranked players, providing the opportunity for many tennis fans around the world to watch their favorite competitors in action again. Rafa Nadal Academy has already hosted numerous tennis events, including two ATP Challengers, ITF events in both categories and also various wheelchair and junior tournaments.
"In recent weeks, we have made our facilities available to Chairman of the ATP Andrea Gaudenzi to possibly make the Academy a center for the gathering of players so that they can train in an environment that is ideal for first-class competition.
While the priority is obviously for a resumption of play for the regular Tour, the ATP is evaluating all options, keeping in mind health & safety as the top priority. At the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre, we can host a significant number of players and coaches so that they can train and compete without having to leave the Academy.
We have a large fitness center, a semi-Olympic swimming pool and a spa that would allow them to have a good preseason and to reach peak fitness. The size of the facilities would also allow, if necessary, the logistics to be organized to respect any sanitary and social-distancing protocols," said Carlos Costa, the Head of Business Development at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar.
"Right now, tennis takes a back seat and the most important thing is everyone's health, but if in the coming months the Academy can be used to help other professional players, I'd be delighted if they could come to train and also to compete.
Although we have no upcoming tournaments, I think that competing among ourselves would help us maintain our game for when the Tour restarts", said Rafa Nadal.
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