Rafael Nadal's 16-year-old cousin makes his pro debut


Rafael Nadal's 16-year-old cousin makes his pro debut

16-year-old Joan Nadal Vives, son of Toni and cousin of Rafael Nadal is the latest sportsman of the Nadal dynasty linked to tennis. Joan, in common with his cousin Rafa, has a peculiarity; he is left-handed. He is one of Uncle Toni's two sons and, in his first match in professional tennis, he was defeated 6-1, 6-3 by Turkey's Kuzey Cekirge, who is ranked no.

1312, in the first round of a tournament ITF held in Manacor. Joan Nadal's registration to the Manacor event took place thanks to a wild-card. In his career as a junior, Joan had had good results, but it must be remembered that Rafael Nadal, at 16, was very close to the top-200 in the ATP Ranking, while 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, his countryman, is very close to entering the Top-100.

Joan Nadal has an older brother who is 17 years old, named Toni, like his father, who also plays tennis. 20 years after his cousin Rafa did it in an F10 held in Madrid, Joan surely will never forget the day of his debut as a professional tennis player.

Curiously, also Rafael Nadal started his professional career with a defeat against Spanish Guillermo Platel in straight sets.

Will Garbine Muguruza and Rafael Nadal play mixed-doubles at the Olympics?

Recently, former world no.

1 Garbine Muguruza expressed a desire to play mixed doubles with Rafael Nadal at the next Olympic Games. The Venezuelan-born tennis player two-time Grand Slam champion (2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon) represented Spain at the Hopman Cup 2019 together with David Ferrer.

Therefore, her goal in mixed doubles is not as far-fetched as it seems. Interestingly, Muguruza and Nadal were supposed to play mixed doubles for Spain at the Rio 2016 Olympics. However, they announced their retirement even before taking the court for the first round match, leaving their Czech Republic opponents Hradecká and Štěpánek free to go to the second round.

Both Spanish representatives play an aggressive game across the board; it will be fascinating to see them work together. They could be reunited again at the next Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Garbine Muguruza also wants to win all four Grand Slams, because every athlete has a dream scenario that they would like to experience in their sport.

In addition to wanting to play with Rafa Nadal, the 27-year-old also wants to win other Slams. She won her two titles at the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon. As she prepares for the 2021 season, Muguruza has revealed the special goals she wants to achieve.

She thought a lot before answering the question. She said: "Special? Winning all four Grand Slams, an Olympic medal and playing Nadal's mixed doubles at the Games. The most special thing is sharing the successes." Currently, the Spanish tennis player is training in this preseason period in Marbella, Spain, where she did a few training games with her two countrymen Davidovich Fokina and Feliciano Lopez.

Garbine will begin her season with her first match at the WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi before heading to Melbourne Park to defend the final of last year lost to American Sofia Kenin. All the greatest tennis stars on the planet, like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and of course, Garbine Muguruza, will come back for the upcoming Australian Open 2021, which will be held in Melbourne from 8 February: it will be the most awaited sports event of the first part of the new season.

It will be a very spectacular season, and all of us hope without the problems of the last one, with some presence of the crowd in the courts across the world.

Rafael Nadal