Rafael Nadal: 'I am not doing this stuff in practice or normal life'

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Rafael Nadal: 'I am not doing this stuff in practice or normal life'

Rafael Nadal is ready for his seasonal debut in the 2021 ATP Cup from February 2 to 6 in Melbourne (Australia). The Iberian champion has focused his preparation at the start of the season on the Australian Open and the team competition represents the ideal way to approach the first Grand Slam of the year.

His Spain was included in Group B with Greece and Australia. Nadal will take the field in the second match of the match against the hosts and will face Alex De Minaur. This is an important test for the Majorcan who will have to contend with the number 23 in the world.

Spain, it is obvious to say, is among the favorites for the final success in the team competition. Nadal will certainly be the driver of the Iberian team but will be able to count on the support of talented players such as Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers and Pablo Carreno Busta.

The 34-year-old native of Manacor intends to present himself at the starting line of the new season already in good shape. Immediately challenging a tennis player who defends well and always requires an aggressive game could be an important test for Nadal and to measure the ambitions of the Spanish champion.

Rafael Nadal took time out from his ATP Cup and Australian Open preparations this week for a wide-ranging and candid interview with Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s Chief International Anchor.

Rafael Nadal comments on his rituals

The CNN correspondent confessed to Rafael Nadal that she was fascinated by his on-court rituals and ticks, and the Spaniard opened up about why he likes to line up his bottles, not step on lines and so on.

“In some way it’s stupid,” he said of his rituals, blushing just a little. “On the other hand, for me I am not doing this stuff in practice or normal life… It’s a way to make a difference between practices and matches.

When I’m doing all these routines, I feel 100% focused on what I’m doing, no? The routines help you to be focused and more secure about yourself”. On the topic of children, Nadal said it was important for him and other athletes with large platforms to be role models.

“For us, in my personal opinion, it's mandatory to be a positive example for society," the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. "It's important to send the right messages to the world and especially to the young people."