Rafael Nadal is often compared to his characteristic tics, which he usually does before serving. For many, looking at every match, all of this is unbearable, to the point that many shamelessly make fun of him through social media.
For others, however, these ways of doing belong to the character, and therefore are considered completely normal. In a video published by MAPFRE which sponsors the “Rafa Nadal Tour”, the 19-time Grand Slam champion unveiled some of his little routines.
The mechanism behind the rhythm
“Human beings need routines and security to repeat the same things. I'm tidy with the things I think are really important. My routine before each tennis match is exactly the same. I try to repeat them perfectly every day.
It gives me confidence and peace of mind knowing that things are going to be okay for me or at least that I am doing everything I can to make things okay" - Rafael Nadal explained. The Mallorcan has a list of superstitions, which he refers to as his routine.
He has a series of well-documented habits which apparently helps him to stay focus in the game. “I put the two bottles down at my feet, in front of my chair to my left, one neatly behind the other, diagonally aimed at the court.
Some call it superstition, but it’s not. If it were superstition, why would I keep doing the same thing over and over whether I win or lose? It’s a way of placing myself in a match, ordering my surroundings to match the order I seek in my head”.
said Nadal. “It is something you start to do that is like a routine. When I do these things it means I am focused, I am competing – it’s something I don’t need to do but when I do it, it means I’m focused”, he added.
Off-the-court, Federer bests Rafael Nadal in terms of overall winnings and net worth, but on the court, Nadal has long been Federer’s Kryptonite due to his punishing ground game and wild, spin-heavy shots that send Feds careening all over the court.
While Federer plays his best when he’s able to glide around the court, dictating whatever pace suits him for that specific matchup, Nadal’s immense power and swerving groundstrokes send the Swiss all over the court and nullify some of Federer’s strengths.
With 12 French Open titles and 19 overall Grand Slam victories, it seems reasonable to expect that from Rafael Nadal for many years to come.