Perhaps not everyone knows that former World number 1 Rafael Nadal, current winner of 12 Roland Garros titles and 19 Grand Slam tournaments, made his entrance as a child for the first time into the world of sport through football, not tennis.
And, even more curious, the Majorcan initially preferred the first between the two sports: "Rafa liked football more, I can say that", revealed Toni Mesquida, Nadal's coach as a child in this discipline. In a recent interview with Calcio Napoli 24 Live, Rafael Nadal's uncle believes the World No.
2 wouldn't mind Napoli getting the better of Barcelona.
Miguel Angel Nadal on his nephew
“Rafael Nadal is a football fan, but I know him and I know he likes Real Madrid from an early age,” Miguel Angel Nadal said.
In view of the upcoming Champions League tie between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli, Miguel Nadal was asked if his nephew Rafael Nadal would support the Italian club over the Catalonians. “He will surely expect the best player to win.
If for some reason Napoli manage to make a great game, he will certainly be pleased,” he said. “When one is a professional sportsman, in the end he hopes that the best will win" - he concluded. Andy Murray says he has been told that some of the ‘top male players’ aren’t going to play the US Open this year, with Rafael Nadal reportedly ready to opt out.
Uncertainty still surrounds the tournament, with international travel and likely subsequent quarantine causing a major headache for players hoping to commit to the European clay season. Rafael Nadal is one player who is reported to have decided against defending the US Open title he won last season – although it is not yet confirmed – with other’s said to seriously considering skipping the event.
Djokovic will be the No. 1 seed and Nadal the 2 for the Western & Southern Open running Aug. 22-28 in the lead-up to the Open. The event was moved to New York from Cincinnati this year to create a tennis bubble at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
It is expected that both players will remain in New York and then play the U.S. Open Aug. 31-Sept 13. On the men’s side, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and David Goffin round out the top eight seeds at the Western & Southern Open.
Roger Federer, the all-time men’s leader with 20 Grand Slam titles, previously announced he was done for 2020 with knee surgery.