Rafael Nadal still raises eyebrows on choosing Basel over Valencia

Rafael Nadal has stirred up some talk among fellow Spaniards and tennis forum participants alike about a choice he made earlier this year. The French Open champion decided to play at the hard-court tournament in Roger Federer’s hometown of Basel, which is held at the same time as the Valencia Open 500, between 19 and 27 October 2013. This has caused some raised eyebrows, notably from supporters of the Valencia event, who feel that Rafa should play at an event in his home country over that of Federer’s. (It is important to note here that Rafa has already played in Spain twice this year.)

Swiss Indoors Basel: 19 – 27 October 2013

Both tournaments are held indoors and both are hard court. Some critics have argued that it may have to do with the difference in financial commitment between the two tournaments, and the differences in royalties and incentives. However, this seems to  be the catch-all reason for any move a celebrity makes, whether or not it is true.

Valencia is home to David Ferrer, and it also the tournament that showcases other Spanish favorites. If Rafa were to play in Valencia, he would draw the crowds and sponsors, but would  he not eclipse the other Spaniards on their home turf? Is this perhaps an altruistic move on Rafa’s part? The surface in Basel is similar to the surface at the WTF. Perhaps it’s not about altruism, but rather, a need to hone his skills and confidence, and that’s why Rafa chose Basel. Or it could just be that he wanted to play Federer in Switzerland.

We’re spectators of a sport. Whatever the reason, should it really matter to us?


  1. Rafa has the freedom to choose wherever he wants to play! Whatever his reasons ,he’s entitled to anyway.My prayers are with you Rafa.

  2. I thought Rafa had a contract with Basel. I could be wrong, but if he does, he will need to fulfill it if physically able.

  3. Not to mention that Rafa’s already promised, if his knee holds, to play Davis Cup again this year. How many times will that make? And let’s recall that, unlike very many other tennis players on tour, Rafa has chosen to stay at home — in Spain — and pay full taxes on his mighty income. He is a walking poster boy for Spain, for heaven’s sake — how many times has his country’s flag flown over a trophy presentation this year due to Rafael Nadal’s brilliance? How many times does he speak of his preference for things Spanish? How many times has he praised the beauties of Spain, the Balearics, Mallorca?

    I don’t believe there’s much chatter about this in Spain. Sounds like another effort to stir up debate and get internet traffic. All I have to say is, Vamos Rafa siempre!

  4. I have not seen or met another human being who is so attached to his roots. The media and the tournament sponsors,strategically place articles like this on the internet, to paint Rafa in a black light. I get that Spain is in recession, but so is the rest of the world. If with such a strong spanish contingency,of lopez,granollers,almagro and home boy Ferrer, they can’t get tickets to sell, then that is their headache no? How is Rafa to blame? He played Barcelona and Madrid this year, so its not like he’s not served his national purpose to the country. And how dare these people bring up the money issue? Both Barcelona and Valencia are ATP 500s, so obviously they pay the same amount in appearance fee to the players. And since both Basel and Valencia are the same surface, there is no smoke, so how did they create fire? I hate it when the success of an individual is linked to his country,as if the country has gone out of the way to help the individual to reach where Rafa is today. A global icon. An inspiration to the youth. I get the concept of patriotism, but that has nothing to do with Rafa as a tennis player. What he is today, is because Toni recognised his talent when he was 3, and because Rafa honed his talent to become one of the greatest players who has played the sport. His father sponsored all his tennis needs as a child, so whatever Rafa has achieved is because of his potential and because of his family who have stuck by him, especially in trying times. His success has nothing to do with Spain. He would have flourished if he was born and raised in America even. Like I see it, he owes everything to his family,and sure he has a duty as a citizen toward his country-which he more than fulfils with his various donations and charity work. He’s even building a tennis academy with state of the art facilities in Mallorca. He promotes the tourism of the country.He only mingles with spanish and argentine or spanish speaking players. What else does he have to prove? and why should he be answerable to the media, or even his country for that matter. He is a tennis player who can choose wherever he wants to play, so the vulgar mention of money really gets to me. So you mean to say that if you are Spanish, then to oblige the govt/media by compulsion you can only dine at a Spanish restaurant? Or holiday in Spain and buy made in spain only merchandise? Cart load of rubbish.

  5. Agree he has the right to choose where he play’s and Rafa loves his country when he won RG#8 and they played the anthem his eyes filled with tears..

  6. Where Rafa chooses to play is nobody’s business but his own. He doesn’t need to explain or justify those choices in any way to anyone – least of all his fans.

  7. After all is said and done they should do whatever they want for any reason. They are the ones that sacrifice way more than we to be the best in their field. We are just spectators and we should respect their wishes.

  8. Everything can be looked from all sides of a story.
    Why not play Basel if courts are similar to WTF courts and prepare for that event? Playing Basel doesn’t harm Valencia nor fellow Spaniard players. However, Ferrer has more chance to triumph in his hometown

  9. It’s Rafa’s choice! No matter which he chose, or even if he had opted to play in neither, someone would be upset.

  10. He has the right to play wherever he wants! It doesn’t matter where, he is Spaniard but it doesn’t mean he only has to plays there! And he did twice already this year! Vamossss Rafa!

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