Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya play doubles against juniors at Rafa Academy



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Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya play doubles against juniors at Rafa Academy

Rafael Nada opened his Rafa Nadal Academy at home in Mallorca in May 2016, eager to pass his knowledge and vision onto the upcoming stars. Featuring state of the art facilities, the Academy provides the best conditions for both professionals and juniors, allowing them to train on hard and clay under a close eye of established coaches.

Casper Ruud, Jaume Munar and many promising youngsters had to stay away from the court from March until May due to the coronavirus, keeping the players and staff in isolation and under strict rules. World no. 2 is back on the court after a long break, embracing his first practice sessions and slowly getting into a groove ahead of the announced season restart in August.

Nadal and Moya are yet to make their schedule, thinking about the best way to handle three Masters 1000 tournaments and two Majors within seven weeks. Moya, who has been Nadal's leading coach since 2017, shared a court at the Academy a couple of days ago with his pupil, playing against juniors and having fun ahead of more pressing work in the upcoming days.

Rafa had some ups and downs at the beginning of 2019, starting to play better in May and challenging Novak Djokovic for the year-end no. 1 spot. After three unexpected losses on clay in the semi-final, the Spaniard won the title in Rome and grabbed the 12th Roland Garros crown to write history again in Paris.

Following the semi-final loss at Wimbledon to Roger Federer, Rafa won Montreal and the US Open.

In New York, Rafa defeated Daniil Medvedev in thrilling five sets to earn the 19th Major crown, moving one behind Roger Federer and hoping to match or pass the Swiss in the rest of 2020.

Nadal stayed in front of Novak in the closing stages of the season, securing the fifth year-end no. 1 honor and lifting another notable title for Spain at the Davis Cup at home in Madrid. The ATP Cup was Nadal's first stop in 2020, leading Spain into the final alongside Roberto Bautista Agut and suffering a loss to Novak Djokovic in straight sets to finish runner-up.

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

Playing in Kuwait and against Roger Federer in 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. Rafa will have to think about his schedule and is it smart to compete at both the US Open and Roland Garros within a month.