Flashback Friday: Rafael Nadal has played tennis in some wacky places!

He is the King of Clay, but Rafael Nadal has also mastered the art of ‘playing’ tennis on some unconventional surfaces and in strange places over the years. Take a look at where in this week’s Flashback Friday.

Source: Pikopress /Bauer Griffin
Source: Pikopress /Bauer Griffin

Rafa’s latest adventure in strange tennis was atop a barge by the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina on November 24, 2013. Novak Djokovic was his partner in crime. This wasn’t his first time playing tennis floating, however. Rafa has had a long affair with playing on boats.

Back on January 2, 2011, Rafa and his long-term bromance partner Roger played in the Persian Gulf in Doha, proving to their fans that Fedal is special because the duo do, in fact, walk on water. But this wasn’t the first time!

Way back on January 4, 2009, Rafa and Roger played mini tennis on a dhow (a traditional boat) in Doha. They even had ball kids! No umpires, though. Who do you think won?

Julien Finney/Getty Images Europe
Julien Finney/Getty Images Europe

Roger, however, was not the first to walk (and play) on water with Rafa. That honor, of being the first to play on water with Rafa, goes to none other than ‘twin’ Serena Williams. The pair played atop a swimming pool in Miami’s Gansevoort South Hotel on March 24,  2008, during the Sony Ericsson Open.

While Rafa was walking on water, he was also doing some other things. Most notable of them was playing on a flying carpet! Yes, that’s right.

On January 3, 2010, Rafa and Roger played on a floating carpet high up in the Souq Waqif to commemorate the beginning of the Qatar Open. We totally get the whole magic carpet, Aladdin, Persia theme, but talk about wacky (and fun)! The next couple of places seem almost boring compared to this one!

Ian Walton/Getty Images
Ian Walton/Getty Images

No, this isn’t Photoshopped. The previous generation had the Battle of the Sexes. We have the Battle of the Surfaces. On May 2, 2007, Roger and Rafa squared off in Mallorca on their favorite surfaces. Who won? The handsome Spaniard, of course!

Speaking of surfaces and places, how about some Road tennis?

On August 25, 2006, Rafa and Roger were persuaded to play the Nike Street Slam in a cage-like contraption on 54th street in Manhattan, prior to the start of the US Open.

Looks like the noise didn’t bother them too much and they had a good time.  They also played on a street in Monaco once, but under much serene circumstances.

So that’s our list of cooky, wacky places that Rafa has played in. Did we miss any? If so, please tell us, and we’ll update our list. Have any funny Rafa stories? Share those too! Enjoy!


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