STARNBERG, April 19, 2020
Although the tennis tour is cancelled until at least July 13, the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, situated on the Spanish island of Mallorca in Manacor, announced plans to become a campus where elite players can reside, practice and compete with each other in matches, which even could be televised.
“In recent weeks we have made our facilities available to ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi with the goal of possibly making the Academy a centre for the coming together of players so that they can train in an environment that is ideal for first-class competition. While the priority is obviously for a resumption of play for the regular Tour, the ATP is evaluating all options, keeping in mind health & safety as the top priority,” said Carlos Costa, the Head of Business Development at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, quoted by the Academy’s official website.
The driving force behind the initiative was Rafael Nadal: “Right now tennis takes a back seat and the most important thing is everyone’s health, but if in the coming months the Academy can be used to help other professional players, I’d be delighted if they could come to train and also to compete. Although we have no upcoming tournaments, I think that competing among ourselves would help us maintain our game for when the tour restarts,” the World No. 2 said.
“At the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre, we have the capacity to host a significant number of players and coaches so that they can train and compete without having to leave the Academy,” Costa said. “We have a large fitness centre, a semi-Olympic swimming pool and a spa that would allow them to have a good preseason and to reach peak fitness. The size of the facilities would also allow, if necessary, the logistics to be organised to respect any sanitary and social-distancing protocols”.
The Rafa Nadal Academy hosted two editions of the Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s International Realty as part of the ATP Challenger Tour. Australia’s Bernard Tomic captured the title of the inaugural tournament in 2018, Finnish young gun Emil Ruusuvuori lifted the trophy last August.