Rafa Nadal started playing with balls before he could walk and in his formative years liked soccer just as much as tennis, his grandmother Isabel Homar told Spanish radio on Wednesday. Speaking to Cadena Ser from the island of Mallorca where Nadal is from, Homar said the world number two, who beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic to win his second U.S. Open title on Monday, “always liked anything that was round”.
“He started playing with balls in the hallway of his home before he learned to walk,” Homar said, adding things often got broken by accident.
“He loved playing football and he was always excited when Saturday came around,” added the 82-year-old. “He liked football just as much as tennis.”
Homar remembered how her son Toni, who has coached his nephew to 13 grand slam titles, rang her one day and told her to come and watch her grandson.
“I remember one day Toni called me and said ‘you have to come and see him’,” she said after watching Nadal’s victory at Flushing Meadows on television with members of her family. “I can’t remember how old he was, maybe six. He was already holding the racket very well and when he hit the ball he hit it well.”
Homar said she had suffered in the second set of Monday’s final, which Nadal lost to Serb Djokovic before completing a 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 triumph. Her musician husband had preferred not to watch the match due to nerves, she added.
“I liked the first set a lot but the second not so much because when I see that he is losing, I don’t like it. I was really suffering and a lot of the time when that happens I have to turn it off. You get really nervous and then it is really difficult to get to sleep.”
Rafael is a role model for everybody and especially for the youth. So family-oriented and humble and respectful human being.
millions of fans—what connection they have got with you? Why they support you? Really I can not understand it. But somewhere it relates to our previous connections too. Like your grandmother I also get nervous when you are loosing & I stop watching . Then all of sudden my son will tell Rafa is back .I get another life.
I can so relate to everything said above. If I can’t watch Rafa’s matches live I record them and try to watch them without finding out the result first. But if things are not going his way, I get so nervous that I look up the result anyway and enjoy the recording in peace.
Everyone is so proud of Rafa not only his family members fans all over the world, including me in Toronto, I personally put off everything just to look at Rafa playing, I’m so lost without Rafa playing, when he’s losing I’m lost as well I can’t take his loss easy I will think about it for days, So much love for this young man because of his personality, humble, respectful and most of all charming, sexy and hot.May god continue to bless Rafa with health and strength to keep us entertained and happy with tennis as our favourite sport . Good lUck on many more GS in the future Rafa. Love you so much
Granny, and the rest of Rafa’s family, you can all be proud of a wonderful grandson, son and the person that he is today. Big credit goes to you all, for his humility, respect and wonderful disposition which we’re fortunate to witness on TV whenever they interview him.
Desde la Bella Isla de Curacao mi familla i yo siempre vivemos con tu nieto..Felicidades para ustedes con su Rafa,el campion de Mundo.
Yes, Rafa makes us nervous but we love him so much and can’t stop watching his games. I also pace the room up and down and suffer with him when he is loosing, but at the end, Rafa is my hero and I follow his games from wherever I am. It does not matter that I live in New Zealand and when he plays in North America or Europe, his games are in the middle of the night. If Rafa is playing, I am up at midnight, 1, 2, 3 am, it does not matter and I dont need an alarm to wake up, I just wake up knowing that Rafa is about to play. Once I was on a business trip in South Africa when he was playing against Roger in Wimbledon. I couldn’t leave the hotel and almost missed my plane because I couldn’t stop watching. Once in the taxi to the airport, I texted my son in the US to tell me the score until I got to the airport where in the British Airways lounge I could watch, together with many funs. I have had the honour of watching him on person at the Australian Open and last year was a difficult one w/o Rafa, but next year he will rock. Vamos Rafa, you make your fans very, very happy, but not only because of your fantastic play, but your personality and overall disposition. You are humble and down to earth and clearly family means as much to you as you say it. Don’t change you are unique. 13 grand slams and counting.
What an incredibly supportive extended family Rafa has, All of their poistive vibes have got to make a difference… Vamos!!! ( and four fist pumps)
My mum never watches Rafa’s matches live… she always tapes them… We live on 2 different continents and I have to phone her and tell her that he has won, then she will watch the match in peace. If she is ever in room while the match is going on, she is impossible, she cannot sit still… she paces the room like a caged tiger…. I am nervous but need to see it live… but my heart is in my mouth if he is loosing… LOL Rafa do you know how your fans suffer with you.
Rafa makes granny and his entire family happy. And his fans too!
Even I couldn’t watch after the second set due to nerves!
Grandmother U are so lucky Rafa is a CHAMPION ever… Love him