Rafael and Toni Nadal watch juniors at Rafa Nadal Academy

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Rafael and Toni Nadal watch juniors at Rafa Nadal Academy

In May 2016, Rafael Nadal opened his Rafa Nadal Academy at home in Manacor, passing his vision onto the upcoming stars at the state of the art facility. The Academy offers the best conditions for the future tennis stars, helping them to improve the various elements with highly-skilled and trained coaches.

Also, some established players train in Mallorca regularly, often with Nadal himself, including Casper Ruud and Jaume Munar. The coronavirus pandemic had forced the Academy to keep both the players and the staff in isolation, opening the gates in May and allowing both the professionals and juniors to hit the court again.

On Thursday, Rafa Nadal and his uncle and a former coach, Toni, were at the Academy to watch their students' practice sessions, providing precious advice and spending time with the future stars of our sport.

After two months away from the tennis court, Nadal started to practice at his Academy in May, preparing for the restart of the season and thinking about whether to play at the US Open or not under current rules.

The 19-time Major champion went back from Indian Wells when the coronavirus stopped the season, staying at home and hoping for some positive news about a possible restart.

Despite some ups and downs at the beginning of the last season, Nadal bounced back to challenge Novak Djokovic for the year-end no. 1 spot. After three unexpected semi-final losses on clay, the Spaniard won the title in Rome and grabbed the 12th Roland Garros crown, repeating the feat and taking additional 3000 points in Montreal and New York to control the ATP Race before the closing events of the year.

At the US Open, Rafa took down Daniil Medvedev in thrilling five sets for the 19th Major crown, moving one behind Roger Federer and hoping to match or pass the Swiss in the rest of 2020. Carried by that momentum, Nadal managed to finish the ATP Race at the top in the closing stages, securing the fifth year-end no.

1 honor and lifting another notable title for Spain at the Davis Cup. The ATP Cup was Nadal's first stop in 2020, leading Spain into the final alongside Roberto Bautista Agut and losing to Novak Djokovic in straight sets to finish runner-up.

At the Australian Open, Rafa was a win away from securing world no. 1 spot ahead of Novak Djokovic, losing to Dominic Thiem in the quarters and stepping down from the ATP throne when the Serb claimed the eighth Australian Open crown.

Playing in Qatar and South Africa right after Melbourne, Nadal took a couple of weeks off and made a return in Acapulco, claiming the 85th ATP title and heading home ten days later.