Old rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer reunited today to officially open the Majorcan’s new Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Manacor. The academy, which opened for business in June, combines tennis training with schooling for promising players from the age of 12-18. Among its goals is to help its students who do not turn professional after leaving the academy to find scholarships to study at universities in the United States. It is run by Rafael’s coach and uncle, Toni Nadal.
Nadal invited Federer to the launch and the Swiss was only too happy to accept. Federer said: ‘I’m super happy to be here. I know where I’ll send my kids if they want to learn how to play tennis.’
Nadal said: "It’s very important for all of us to have you here. You represent the values and example for kids at our Academy. I don’t know if it’s going to be my last academy, but for me the most important thing is to build the first one here.
"It’s where I live, where I’m going to live, and it’s the only chance to really be involved with the project. Having the academy here, I’m here every day so I can see, I can be close to the kids, I can be close to the coaches. I can really enjoy all the process."
The president of Telefónica, José Maria Álvarez-Pallete helped inaugurate the centre which boasts 26 tennis, ten padel and three squash courts, two pools and other state-of-the-art sport facilities.