Rafa named ITF world champion

Rafael Nadal has been named the 2017 ITF Men’s World Champion!

Rafa, who claimed the honour for the third time, made a sensational comeback from an injury-plagued 2016, winning a 10th French Open title and the US Open to take his grand slam haul to 16.

C.Dubreuil / FFT

Rafa said:

I am very happy to receive this award from the ITF and be the 2017 ITF World Champion. It is four years since I last finished No. 1 on the ATP rankings and this has a special feeling. Congrats also to Garbine on her achievement which is great for our country. Many thanks to my team and my fans, and a special thank you to my uncle Toni for all these years.

Our champ claimed six titles in 2017 and sealed the year-end No. 1 ranking at the Paris Masters, becoming the oldest player to do so since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973.

Garbine Muguruza took the women’s prize. This is the first time since Americans Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport in 1998 that the men’s and women’s ITF world champions are from the same country.

Congrats, Rafa!

Sources: Reuters, ITF

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Rafael Nadal makes it a hat-trick

Rafael Nadal has won the fifth edition of the Olazábal & Nadal Invitational golf tournament in Mallorca this weekend. It was his third title in a row on his beloved island.

In 2013, Rafa and golfer José María Olazábal jointly created the charity golf tournament Olazábal & Nadal Invitational. Held each year in Mallorca, all funds raised through this Pro-Am go towards solidarity projects of the Rafa Nadal Foundation and the Sport Mundi Foundation -chaired by José María Olazábal-, aimed at combating social exclusion.

Uncle Toni pays emotional tribute to Rafael Nadal

Toni Nadal has paid tribute to his nephew Rafa for his dedication and efforts during their time together. The duo have won 16 Grand Slams, 30 Masters Series titles, two Olympic gold medals, and the Davis Cup on four occasions.

Our champ will continue on the ATP Tour with coaches Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig, while uncle Toni will take up work in his nephew’s academy.

 

Julian Finney/Getty Images 

Uncle Toni wrote in Spanish outlet El Pais:

The Masters Cup of this last week has been the finishing touch to my career as coach of my nephew Rafael. I conclude a happy period of 27 years that began the day when the son of my brother Sebastian entered my tennis court at only three years old. ‘Today I leave your side but my path does not end here. I will continue to be linked to tennis because my enthusiasm and love for this sport, fortunately, remain intact.

From the beginning of my nephew’s tennis career I tried to develop a strong and decisive character in him in order to face the difficulties of tennis in particular and of life in general, with which I have always considered that there is a common denominator.

Finally, and in a very special way, I must acknowledge and thank greatly, the person most responsible for my luck: my nephew Rafael.

The relationship with him has always been uncharacteristically easy within the world in which we move. Thanks to his education, respect and passion I have been able to unfold my way of understanding this profession.

Thanks to him I have lived experiences that have surpassed all my dreams as a coach. I have travelled by his side to incredible sites and I have met relevant and interesting people from many fields.

Today I feel greatly valued and loved because his figure has magnified mine much more than I deserve.

Source: metro.co.uk

Rafael Nadal wins case over doping claim

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal won a defamation case against former French health and sports minister Roselyne Bachelot on Thursday after she accused him of doping on television.

Bachelot was handed a €500 fine by a court in Paris and ordered to pay 12,000 euros in damages and legal fees to Rafa over the allegation she made to the D8 channel in March 2016.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Rafa:

I would like to reiterate my respect to the legal procedure and Tribunals of France. We have been made aware of their decision by which Mrs. Bachelot has been found guilty of defamation.

When I filed the law suit against Mrs. Bachelot, I intended not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career.

I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.

The motivation as I have always remarked was not economical. As the tribunal considered there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence recognises the right to damages, the compensation will be paid back in full to an NGO or foundation in France.

The ex-minister from 2007-2010 alleged that Rafa had faked an injury in 2012, when he missed the final six months of the season due to knee problems, in order to hide a positive drug test.

Rafa has never failed a drugs test and denies ever using banned substances.

He had sought € 100,000 in damages and explained last year that he had decided to take legal action to set an example, having previously ignored allegations against him.

His lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, told the court in October that the doping accusation could have had “major consequences” for Rafa concerning his “existing or future sponsors”.

Source: AFP

Did someone pull fire alarm to disrupt Rafael Nadal’s sleep in London?

(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal and the world’s best men’s tennis players found themselves having to endure a 4 a.m. meeting in the freezing cold after fire alarms forced them to evacuate their central London hotel on Tuesday.

Photo via Tennis Magazine

American player Jack Sock explained how the players were all disturbed in the early hours when the alarms went off at their hotel on the banks of the River Thames.

I guess whatever happened in the hotel was on the second floor.

I guess from what the workers at the hotel said, the location of your room is how loud the alarm is. We are right there, kind of right in the centre of it. It literally sounded like the intercom I thought was in our room. Super loud, super annoying. It went on for a while.

At first I didn’t know if it was a test or whatever. Then I realised it was 4am, so I hoped it wasn’t just a test from the hotel. 

I went outside, saw Rafa, saw Dominic. Everyone was all bundled up, freezing cold, just wanting to get back inside. Yeah, it was pretty miserable, to be honest.

Source: Reuters

Congrats to Rafa on hitting 15 million Twitter followers!

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has achieved a Twitter milestone: 15 million followers.

Like many famous stars, our champ has used Twitter to forge a closer relationship with his fans as well as make announcements about his career.

Roger Federer has 10.5 million Twitter followers — roughly 4.5 million less than Rafa.

Currently in third place is Serena Williams with 9.5 million followers. Novak Djokovic (8 million) and Maria Sharapova (7.6 million) are not far behind.

Rafa also enjoys a massive following on Facebook (where he’s been “liked” by nearly 15 million people) and Instagram (4 million).

Rafael Nadal: “My season is finished”

Rafael Nadal has announced he has withdrawn from the ATP Finals due to a knee injury.

I am off, my season is finished.

I had the commitment with the event, with the city, with myself. I tried hard. I did the thing that I had to do to try to be ready to play.

But I am really not ready to play, no? I really fighted a lot during the match, but knowing that probably was a big chance to be the last match of the season. That what’s going to be.

Well, is not a decision at all. Is about the pain. I cannot hold with enough power to keep playing. I tried, but seriously was miracle to be very close in the score during the match. It really doesn’t make sense.

I knew during the match. It was a decision I took during the match. Even winning, even losing, I was going to pull out.

After the year I’ve had, I don’t deserve to feel like that on court for two more days.

I had a great season, I’m not going to cry.

I’m going to work hard… to keep being at the top and fighting for the most important things.

Thank you and Merry Christmas, everyone.

Our champ finishes the season with a 67-11 win-loss record and 6 titles.

Sources: PA, Metro, ATP World Tour