Three things you didn’t know about Rafael Nadal

In today’s day and age, Rafael Nadal is a well-known legend of the game. His clay-court prowess and incredible career statistics are well documented. However, I’d like to steer clear of the traditional facts and figures about Nadal here. Instead, I’d like to share a few facts that people might not know about the great man. 


Keep reading if you want to know a few intriguing facts about Nadal that you may have never known!

Rafael Nadal – a few hidden secrets

20 Grand Slams, best clay-court player ever, mental giant – we all know the standard facts about Nadal. But let me share some things that don’t always pop up in standard searches right now:

He is right-handed

That’s right, Nadal is actually right-handed. He reportedly does almost everything with his right hand besides playing tennis. How did this emerge? Well, when he was learning to play tennis as a kid, his coach (Uncle Toni) decided that left-handed players have an advantage over right-handed players. Sticking with this knowledge, he started to coach Rafa to play with his left hand, which Rafa didn’t particularly like at first. 

But needless to say, things seem to have worked out rather well with Nadal playing as a lefty throughout his career!

He was a very shy child

When you watch the way that Nadal competes on the court these days, this seems almost impossible to believe. He is arguably the greatest competitor that the sport has ever seen. And he is not afraid to rise to the challenge in any scenario. With epic fist pumps and deafening screams of ‘Vamos’ on the court, it’s probably best to compare him to a gladiator rather than a top-level sportsman. But as a child, he was reportedly amazingly shy.

He wouldn’t stand up for himself, wouldn’t speak out against controversies on or off the court, and wouldn’t even speak in front of strangers, according to reports. Again, Uncle Toni recognized this and he started to manufacture ways to get Rafa out of his shell and turn him into the beast we all know today.

He is a very talented football-player

It’s commonly the case that top-level athletes are pretty good at other sports besides their own. The catch though is knowing what sports these actually are. In the case of Rafael Nadal, he is a super talented football player. As a child, Rafa was showing so much promise in football that he could’ve easily been snapped up by a youth academy. However, he was playing both football and tennis at the same time. This was at least true in the early days.

But as his tennis talents started to shine through, he was essentially forced to make a choice. Thankfully, he elected to pursue his tennis talents over his footballing talents. And as history shows us, it’s fair to say that his decision turned out to be a pretty good one. Then again – he still shows his football skills off on the court at times, as he should!

About the author

Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the United Kingdom. He has previously played NCAA college tennis in the USA and competed in many international events throughout his younger days. He still plays competitively and follows both the ATP & WTA Tours closely. His favourite player is Roger Federer.

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