Look who we spotted flying on #QatarAirways to the Middle East for the start of the #tennis season - @RafaelNadal. pic.twitter.com/R7bkc6Xdmd
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) December 31, 2014
Look who we spotted flying on #QatarAirways to the #MiddleEast for the start of the #tennis season. #sports #athlete #travel #airlines #RafaelNadalФото опубликовано Qatar Airways (@qatarairways)
You can check out the older portraits here
Check out some of the really great Top Ten fan made videos of Rafa's shots.. all videos by BVB Channel
Top Points of 2014
Top Ten Defensive points
Top Ten Special Points
Top Ten Blistering Forhands
Top Ten Drop Shots
Extra: Super Points
Extra: Beautiful Points
Extra: Brutal Forehands
Top Points of 2014
Top Ten Defensive points
Top Ten Special Points
Top Ten Blistering Forhands
Top Ten Drop Shots
Extra: Super Points
Extra: Beautiful Points
Extra: Brutal Forehands
Roland Garros 2015 Official Poster is released.
The French Tennis Federation (FFT) shows the official poster designed by Chinese artist Du Zhenjun for the 2015 French Open Tennis tournament. The French Open will take place at the Roland Garros stadium from May 24 to June 7 2015. (AP Photo/Du Zhenjun, FFT)
"I would say he's the greatest mental player in the history of the sport. Not strategy, necessarily, but the ability to play every point as if that's the most important one you've ever played, and do it every match."
Nadal is a veteran at coming back, having been slowed by, most notably, injuries to both knees.
However, this year saw the 14-time grand slam champion miss a chunk of time due to a back problem, wrist complaint and appendix surgery, in that order.
It all began at the Australian Open in January, when Nadal hurt his back while warming up in the final against Stan Wawrinka.
Holding a 12-0 record without conceding a set to the Swiss heading into the contest, a hampered Nadal fell in four sets with the ordeal leaving him in tears.
Recently he has undergone stem-cell treatment to aid his back after the same therapy, he said, helped his problematic, famous knees.
The back bothered Nadal, he added, throughout 2014.
"I repeated the treatment that worked very well for my knees at the end of last year, so I am doing that for my back now and I hope I have a good success on that," he said.
When the wrist sidelined Nadal at the U.S. Open, it ensured another year he skipped a major -- the last time he contested all four in a season came in 2011.
Contrast his attendance with Roger Federer -- the only man ahead of Nadal on the grand slam ladder with 17 titles. The smooth Federer has appeared in 60 consecutive grand slams, a men's record.
Nadal subsequently underwent appendix surgery in early November, ruling him out of the prestigious year-end championships in London.
"I started this year believing that I was ready for everything again," said Nadal, looking back to the start of 2014.
"I started well, playing the final in Australia, but during the final I injured my back. It was hard for me to accept that I didn't have the chance to compete in the final," he added, referring to his defeat by Wawrinka in the opening slam of the season.
"Then I went down for a while. Takes a little bit of time to recover from that mentally and physically. I was coming back to my best again ... playing better and better every single week and arriving in Roland Garros with a great level.
"Then I won there and I was fully confident again. It was the most beautiful part of the year for me."
Wimbledon's grass hasn't been as pleasant for Nadal since he nabbed the last of his two titles in 2010.
Hindered by his knees in 2012 and 2013, he was on the receiving end of two of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history, exiting to Lukas Rosol and Steve Darcis, respectively.
In the most recent edition, Nadal succumbed to fearless young Australian Nick Kyrgios, who seemingly could do no wrong on his serve in the fourth-round tussle. Kyrgios struck 37 aces and was broken once.
I would say he's the greatest mental player in the history of the sport
There was, though, a positive for Nadal.
"I felt the knees were more comfortable playing there," he said. "That's important for me.
"I loved that match, but I couldn't win that match. That can happen on grass but I was proud the way that I played this year."
Next year Nadal's chances at Wimbledon should increase, since an extra week features between the French Open and the year's third grand slam.
Nadal isn't thinking yet about winning a 10th French Open or triumphing at Wimbledon, more preoccupied with being ready -- and competitive -- for the Australian Open next month.
Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009, but lately his memories of Oz presumably haven't been as upbeat.
Aside from his back issue versus Wawrinka, he retired in 2010, injured his hamstring in 2011 as he sought a fourth straight grand slam title -- or the 'Rafa Slam' -- and lost the longest grand slam final in history in 2012 to Novak Djokovic.
"My main goal today is try to put my body and my tennis again in a competitive way," said Nadal.
"That's what I'm going to try to do during this December. I am thinking I am (focused) about Australia because I like a lot of years in Australia, and I felt that I was doing the right things there so many years during my career.
"I have a special motivation for that."
interview 12/18/2014Rafaholics ™
#Nadal: "We must not hide from reality, the fears are there"
Source: El Mundo
Photo Credit: Carlos Garcia Pozo
Away from the courts since Wimbledon, the last tournament he competed in, world number three Rafa Nadal is approaching a deadline in his recovery when he will return to competition and the fight for the number one ranking. "It's something that is being put on me I guess. Years ago I said that for me being number one in he world is not a goal."
"If things are going as well as in 2013 I will be happy. Honestly I have had ten years among the two or three best in the world ranking wise, so today it is not the top priority for me. Obviously I know that if I compete well the ranking will be positive, but my priority is to be competitive, try to be OK for all tournaments in which I will be competing," he stressed.
"Training is going well and my attitude is good, the last two weeks I practiced with a lot of intensity and I am at a high level. I am lucky that Pablo Carreño was with me in Mallorca last week and this week Richard Gasquet is here, so I am training with players of the highest level which helps me finding the right rhythm that I need", he added.
"But I have to go slowly because after all the time without being able to train and compete the body suffers during the rehabilitation stage, through the practice it takes to get back to the top-level in this sport. In the beginning you have small pains, which is normal and you work them out", he highlighted.
On January 2 he will compete in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, which will open his 2015 season.
The world number three said this at a promotional event for KIA, for which he is a spokesperson and which was also attended by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias. "The calendar will mark the results", he explained, "but you have to do some basic planning." "You will notice that it is not a normal schedule as it has been in other years because I am adding more weeks on clay, something I only did in 2013 when I returned from my injury."
"I wanted to add them last year as well but because of my back injury I could only do one extra week in Rio. This year I intend to try and push hard early in the year and the fact that I will be competing on clay will help my recovery", he adds. "Hopefully I will be fully recovered for Australia, but if it is not so, which is always a possibility as I've been unable to train and compete for practically almost six month. As time is limited, I hope that the time I have will help bring back the good feelings on clay in Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires" he commented.
"The main goal is to compete in favorable conditions, conditions that are physically less aggressive, that is, on clay courts. I think from Australia to Roland Garros is a very important part of the year for me, I think it is the most important part and I will try to make an effort and be well prepared so that in that part of the year I will be well", he pointed out.
A serious and very reflective Nadal also remarked: "My biggest concern now is my level of tennis, the level of my rivals while I was away from competition, normal concerns at the beginning of a new season, the doubts and the fears are always there each year and a little more now because I did not compete for six months".
"That is a reality and you cannot hide from reality. The fears are there, the doubts are there and the only way I have been able to overcome them has always been with the work, effort and attitude necessary to win. Motivation and my level of tennis level remove the doubts. I have always had them and partly I think that they are good because they keep you alive and keep you alert, which means that you care very much about what you're doing", said Nadal.
(translated by Chris Boardman)
Tommy Hilfiger Corp. has signed Rafa Nadal to serve as global brand ambassador for the Tommy Hilfiger underwear and Tommy Hilfiger tailored collections. The 28-year-old tennis star, who has signed a two-year agreement with Hilfiger, will be photographed in Spain early next year and will appear in the fall underwear and tailored clothing ad campaigns. Laird & Partners will create the ads that will run in print, online and on billboards worldwide. The photographer hasn’t been confirmed yet. In addition, Rafa Nadal will attend exclusive Hilfiger launch events in North America, Europe and Asia.
TOMMY HILFIGER ANNOUNCES RAFAEL NADAL AS
GLOBAL BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR UNDERWEAR AND TAILORED COLLECTIONS
The internationally renowned, record-setting tennis icon will appear
in the ‘Tommy Hilfiger’ underwear and tailored campaigns, beginning Fall 2015.
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS (December 17, 2014) – The Tommy Hilfiger Group, which is wholly owned by PVH Corp. [NYSE: PVH], announces that internationally renowned tennis star Rafael Nadal will appear as the global brand ambassador for the Tommy Hilfiger underwear and Tommy Hilfiger Tailored collections beginning in Fall 2015. Both collections are available at Tommy Hilfiger stores globally, through select wholesale partners and online at tommy.com.
“Rafael Nadal has been a longtime personal friend and supporter of our brand, and I’m continuously inspired by his dedication and passion for his sport,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “This exclusive partnership brings one of the greatest athletes of this generation into our Tommy family. Rafael embodies an effortless sense of style that exemplifies and reflects our brand spirit – he’s confident, fun and cool.”
The campaign imagery will be photographed in early 2015 in Spain and it will break globally in fall 2015 with dedicated print, online, and out-of-home media placements worldwide. To further support the global initiative and collaboration, Nadal will attend exclusive Tommy Hilfiger launch events in North America, Europe and Asia.
“I’ve always admired Tommy Hilfiger’s cool, all-American designs which are sophisticated and easy to wear, and I’m excited to be partnering with the brand,” said Rafael Nadal, the 14-time Grand Slam winner.
The Fall 2015 Tommy Hilfiger underwear collection refreshes classic styles with updated fits, revamped fabrics and elevated details. Design innovations combine with premium fabrics for a result that’s sophisticated, durable and essential for everyday comfort. The Fall 2015 Tommy Hilfiger Tailored collection features sharp silhouettes, modern tailoring and rich textures.
Born in 1986 in Manacor, Spain, Nadal has ranked amongst the world’s top five tennis players since 2003. Widely regarded as one of the greatest professional tennis players in history, at the age of 24 he became the youngest athlete to complete the “Grand Slam” and is the second male player in the world to have completed the “Career Golden Slam” after winning the French, Australian and U.S. Opens; Wimbledon; and a 2008 Olympic gold medal. Nadal currently holds a record for his nine French Open victories – the most won by a single player – including five consecutive title wins.
About The Tommy Hilfiger Group
With a premium lifestyle brand portfolio that includes Tommy Hilfiger and Hilfiger Denim, the Tommy Hilfiger Group is one of the world’s most recognized designer apparel groups. Its focus is designing and marketing high-quality menswear, womenswear, children’s apparel and denim collections. Through select licensees, the Group offers complementary lifestyle products such as sportswear for men, women, juniors and children; footwear; athletic apparel (golf, swim and sailing); bodywear (underwear, robes and sleepwear); eyewear; sunwear; watches; handbags; men’s tailored clothing; men’s dress furnishings; socks; small leather goods; fragrances; home and bedding products; bathroom accessories; and luggage. The Hilfiger Denim product line consists of jeanswear and footwear for men, women and children; bags; accessories; eyewear and fragrance. Merchandise under the Tommy Hilfiger brands is available to consumers worldwide through an extensive network of Tommy Hilfiger retail stores, leading specialty and department stores and other select retailers and retail channels.
About PVHPVH Corp., one of the world’s largest apparel companies, owns and markets the iconic Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands worldwide. It is the world’s largest shirt and neckwear company and markets a variety of goods under its own brands, Van Heusen, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, ARROW, Warner’s and Olga, and its licensed brands, including Speedo, Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Sean John, Chaps, Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, DKNY, Ike Behar and John Varvatos.
Official Announcement & Photo Provided by:
Tommy Hilfiger Europe B.V.
Anne-Ro Klevant Groen
Digital PR Manager
Marketing & Communications
Nobody escapes the passage of time, not even child prodigies. Rafael Nadal, who a decade ago astonished the world playing the final of the Davis Cup in 2004 as a teenager, and who no longer competes in capris or sports a wildmane that swings around his shoulders while he devours his opponents. No. Not at all. Today the Spaniard is 28, has won 14 Grand Slam tournaments and knows he has played more games than he has left to play. Ready to attack 2015 with a sharp racket and the ever present voracious appetite, Nadal does not only think about the present.
While recovering from an appendectomy and stem cell treatment to try and solve his back problems, the world number three plans his return to the court and thinks about tomorrow, the future, what will become of his life in a few years. And he imagines children. A tennis academy. His role as ambassador for Banco Sabadell. His charity projects. Managing his investments. And then, when he thinks of all that, there is no fear, no unsteadiness. Quite the opposite. He moves his hands to explain that when the time comes he will be ready to face the challenge.
"All my life I have thought about what was going to come after tennis. It is something that has never caused me any precipice, or panic, it is not a problem", the tennis player told us in Madrid, where he appears dressed up, with his curls tamed above the ears and the reflective tone of someone who has everything already analyzed, measured and thought out. "Yes, you will have to respect what may come after", he admits, because he knows that there are many examples of people who have failed in the transition from the stadium to simple home life. "I am not going to say that I will not have any problems transitioning into another life after my career, but I am sure, convinced, that I have many things in my life outside of the professional circuit that make me happy. I think that I will have many other things that I will bring fulfillment", he mulls over his arguments calmly, as if playing with the idea, because he realizes that he still has a career ahead of him, years to compete and titles to celebrate.
At some point, however, it is going happen. The day after an athlete retires is similar to that of a politician's. As soon as you say good bye to the ministry, the phone will stop ringing, the invitations to receptions of the most influential events will stop coming, and consequently you can feel an endless void, a blow to your self-esteem, belittlement and a question: wasn't I more than this? The athlete, less recognizable on the street, no longer being asked for an autograph or hired for promotional campaigns and, above all, the lack of the excitement that you feel competing at the highest level and on the most prestigious stages. Expelled from the bliss of of the big stadium, where you are the main attraction of the impossible and write epic history regularly, many struggle to make the transition. Some wallow in the eternal memory. Unable to return to the past and not able to live in the present.
José Manuel Beirán, sports psychologist, and former Spanish basketball player with Real Madrid Baloncesto who also played for Spain at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games where he won a silver medal, explains it as follows: "It is retirement at 30, not 65. It's a total change from what had been your life since childhood. You should be preparing long before, yourself and your environment because you will live like a normal person many more years than you live like an athlete. In 50 years we will continue to remember Nadal. Those who are not superstars no one remembers after a short while. And if that person has valued himself on what they think others thought of them based on results... ", warns Beirán. "You think you're more professional if you live just for the sport 24/7, if you only think about sports. That's a risk. You are tired a lot. It is a tremendous mental effort. You have to relax physically, but also mentally, and doing anything else is a rest".
There is only one solution, says the psychologist. Planning. Preparing. Get ready while you are still active as an athlete. Find something to fill your time once you are no longer competing. Just what is making the Majorcan tick? Nadal, still in his prime, still able to fight for all the big titles, something he has demonstrated until now with the possibility of becoming a tennis player who has won the most Grand Slams in history (he has 14, compared to Roger Federer's 17), says he has already found the project which will keep him motivated in the future.
"I have people helping me with these things, like my father", he explains about his plans, plans in which his family is will always be a fundamental pillar. "The project of the academy is both emotional and personal and a collective project". He describes the high performance international tennis center he will open in Manacor (Mallorca), his home town, and for which the first brick has already been laid. "It allows me to remain connected to the world of sports and the sport that I have played since I was three years old. It will be in the place where I grew up, where I live and I will live. That emotional connection is important: for Manacor to create something that can be a sports center of international recognition", he tells us. "It motivates me to give Mallorca and Manacor a facility of this level, create jobs and make it so citizens can enjoy it", he explains while moving his hands with vehemence.
"Training young people for the future also motivates me. It is fact, and should not be covered up, that the percentage of people fully dedicated to tennis since the age 10 to reach professional status is X. We try to have as many as possible reach X but the vast majority fails so the first and foremost thing is to train people, provide them with a solid foundation to give them a future with possibilities, training them personally, have them study and prepare them for university", reflects the player, keeping in mind his friend Tomeu Salva, a tennis player who never made it to the professional circuit. "There came a day when competition led to anxiety, nervousness and unhappiness in Tomeu and he managed to find joy taking a different path. The academy will aim to turn the maximum possible number of children into professional players, but to also prepare them for an alternate future, university and values that will help them in their personal lives whatever their destiny."
Values! The inner sanctum of Nadal. The Majorcan's concerns go beyond the court. The teenager who had no interest in reading but was attached to his PlayStation video games and always ready to participate in a practice soccer match is now an adult talking about creating jobs, starting a family, creating, managing his legacy and especially his values. This is a key concept in the life of the world number three. Today and for the past decade Nadal's effort, passion, humility, perseverance, achievement and gratefulness for what life has afforded him are legendary. Today and for the past decade on the court and through the Rafa Nadal Tour, a circuit for young players, the Spaniard has attempted to transfer those values to practice. Talk is cheap, he says. Put it into practice.
"Talking about values is much easier than exemplifying them, acting upon them and turning them into reality", he says with a raised eyebrow, another Nadal characteristic. "Giving advice with words is much easier to do than living by example," he stresses after walking through the streets of Madrid dragging his suitcase and people encouraging him with his "¡VAMOS Rafa!" for his "Closer" campaign with journalist John Carlin for Banco Sabadell. "My father did not need to give me that advise because I see how he works every day, what he has done for us, how he has strived to make his business successful. For many years, year after year, he has worked hard to outdo himself at his job," says the tennis player who has applied on the court what he observed at home, an attitude he will likely keep in the management of his assets, which include investments in hotels. "My father did it. He has the largest glassware company in the Baleares. To me that's an example of starting from scratch and creating what he has created. It is not a fluke. He has been working hard and continuously seeking improvement," he adds.
"Everyone has to do what makes them happy if they can. Not everyone is able to do what they like but it is important to be happy with what you do and not just do what makes you happy. That is a great virtue," says the player who is also advised by Carlos Costa, former world number 10 and his agent since childhood. "For many years I have done what I love which is playing tennis, and I have been happy. But I have also worked from a very young age to achieve what I have achieved. Am I able to do what my father does?" he asks. "I do not know for sure that I could but I will not be sitting on the couch because I like to be active. My passion is tennis, my father has his company, work he enjoys doing. The idea is to have a job and also enjoy other things. My father does that now but for many years he did not."
When the time comes Nadal will be more involved in his education and charity projects of his foundation, which does work in India. He will remain an extremely valuable figure for brands and companies who see him as a spokesman able to relate like a family member in the living room of any home and he will take a more active role in the talent and event agency he shares with Carlos Costa (they have already signed Chilean Christian Garin, the 2013 Roland Garros Junior Champion) and otherwise enjoy his love for tennis, golf, soccer, fishing and the ocean.
Nadal, the ninth highest paid athlete in the world according to Forbes (35.5 million Euros in 2014), imagines a future in which his currently busy life style (nearly 11 months away from home, tournaments on four different continents, travel and constant training) will be replaced with an equally intense life but with less travel. "I do not see myself being a personal trainer and traveling the world," he says. "Being a Stefan Edberg [Roger Federer's coach and winner of six Grand Slams] or Boris Becker [Novak Djokovic's coach and winner of six Grand Slams]... I do not see that for myself".
Because the best Spanish tennis player of all time, winner of the Prince of Asturias Award, individual Olympic gold medal winner, the only Spaniard to win Wimbledon since Manûel Santana (1966), the first to win the Australian Open and win all Grand Slams, wants to be a father and surrounded by children. "More than two," but he does not put a date on it as he is still competing and his girlfriend also wants to have a career in the field of her work. When that day come and with it independence (the champion still lives with his parents during the little time he spends in Mallorca) it is more than likely that Nadal will continue seeing old friends and occasionally Pedro Riera, the coach with whom he started playing soccer and whom he nick named Torment. Today soccer is the sport for his cousins whom he watches play when the season permits.
"I've never lost touch with these people," says the athlete whose family has been established in Manacor since the fourteenth century. "I'm lucky that I have many cousins between the ages of 9 and 12 who are playing soccer and when I have free time I go watch them play because it is fun for me. These are beautiful moments. When I was small playing soccer made me more nervous than playing tennis. Soccer has always been a passion. To Pedro whom I know well, as Pedro Torment."
Nadal still has battles with Roger Federer ahead of him, the opponent who marked the beginning of his career, with whom he played the unforgettable Wimbledon Final in 2008 and who denied him the Masters Cup in 2010. The Spaniard also faces matches against Novak Djokovic's, his nemesis, a fierce Serbian tennis player with whom he has shared the most major titles over the last five years. The world number three is looking forward to 2015 spurred on by a 2014 filled with trouble in which the ninth Roland Garros title was a ray of light in a dark year overshadowed by a back injury, problems with the right wrist (which caused a three month absence from the tour) and appendicitis which gave him a scare. "I had surgery and was lucky: I had been told that the appendix could erupt again," he says. Ready to continue competing again at the highest level the champion of 14 majors knows that everything has its purpose. That although he is fit for the race ahead the racket is not forever. And so, with full maturity, he is looking straight ahead into the future with open eyes.
Translation: Chris Boardman