VII ITF SENIOR RAFA NADAL ACADEMY BY MOVISTAR
8. - 15. März 2020
29. Dezember - 5. Januar 2020
Das Rafa Nadal Sports Centre ist ein exklusives Gebäude, in welchem Erwachsene und Familien geräumige Zimmer genießen, ebenso wie sehr funktionale Möbel, Betten, die speziell für die Entspannung der Athleten entwickelt wurden und ein sorgfältiges Design.
It has been one year since Rafa Nadal last occupied the world number one spot, and on Monday 4 November he climbed back to the peak of the ATP Rankings. The Spaniard’s stunning season, in which he reached at least the semi-finals in every tournament he played in –except for Acapulco (11/12)- means he will now begin a new period at the pinnacle of world tennis.
“I prefer being No. 1 to being No. 2 and No. 2 to being No. 3. And finishing the year as the No. 1 in the world is something special, I would love that to happen”, he admitted having reached the top of the rankings for the eighth time in his career, starting the tenth period in which a Spaniard has occupied that privileged position. “My priority is organising my schedule to play as much as possible. If I am the world number one at the end of the season with that schedule I’ll be very happy. But I won’t try to do anything special to be the No. 1”.
To get back to the peak of the ATP Tour he was just waiting for the numbers to fall into place, and the conditions he required all aligned during the last tournament of the Asian swing. Djokovic had to successfully defend the title he picked up last year in Shanghai, and he failed to do so (dropping from 1,000 points to 180) meaning that his total prior to the ATP Finals (Masters Cup) now puts Nadal ahead of the Serb, 640 points ahead be exact.
Nadal’s season was outstanding. “It is a year for which I can be happy about everything that was achieved”, began the Spaniard. “I won two Grand Slams [the French Open and the US Open], I’ve won other tournaments [the ATP Masters 1000s in Rome and Canada], I’m in a very good position in the world ranking [No. 1], so I’m happy to finish a year that didn’t seem as good as it was in the end”.
“It’s a season I can be happy with, I don’t like always talking about problems, but 2018 to the end of April 2019 was a year and half that was almost very good in terms of tennis but very bad in terms of injuries. I think that I played nine tournaments in 2018 and was only able to finish seven, that’s no good at all. Even so, I finished as No. 2 in the world and managed to win titles”, continued Nadal. “At the start of 2019 I had a lot of problems again. I had to withdraw in Brisbane, I had problems with my hand before starting in Acapulco, I had to withdraw from Indian Wells because of my knee... it was a long series of issues and luckily, with the help of my team and family, without a doubt we managed to turn it around”.
Nadal, who did not play in Shanghai, returned to the courts of Paris-Bercy, where he was forced to withdraw from his semi-final match (w.o. vs. Shapovalov). However, the Spaniard managed to add 360 points to his haul and will hold the No. 1 spot for at least two weeks, until the champion of the Masters Cup is decided on 17 November in London, where the king of 2019 will be crowned.
With the titles he claimed at this year’s French and US Opens, he is now just one Grand Slam victory behind Roger Federer’s 20 and closer than ever to becoming history’s most decorated player in the majors. In addition, the crowns at the ATP Masters 1000s in Rome and Canada make him the player with the most trophies in that category with 35. And now he has a new challenge in his sights; reaching 200 weeks as the world number one. Whatever happens, he will pick up two more to add to the 196 he has notched up since he first reached the position on 18 August 2008.
“The first time in my career that I was the world number one was in 2008. It was very important because I had been No. 2 for nearly four years and I was playing great tennis. It’s something that I wanted. Then finishing the year as No. 1 is even more important than being No. 1”, he revealed when asked about finishing another season at the top of the rankings.
More than ten years later, he is now the sixth on the list of players to have sat at the pinnacle of the ATP Ranking for the longest and he is battling to finish the season as No. 1 for the fifth time, a number that only Pete Sampras (6) has surpassed. All of this is the result of another stunning season in which Nadal has climbed back to the top of the rankings once more.
Carlos Moyà’s historic trophy will be displayed at the Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience over the coming weeks.
15 March 1999 is inscribed in gold in the annals of Spanish tennis. That Monday, for the first time in the open era, a Spanish player climbed to the top of the ATP Ranking. Before then, his compatriots had won titles, produced memorable victories and won Grand Slams, but none of them had been the best player in the world until Carlos Moyà achieved the feat.
The Technical Director of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar became a pioneer and role model for the golden generation of Spanish tennis. Later, Juan Carlos Ferrero (8 September 2003) and Rafael Nadal (18 August 2008) followed the path forged by the Mallorcan 20 years ago, when he showed his peers that nothing was impossible. All three of them have enjoyed the privilege of the number one spot.
“Mum, I’m number one in the world!”, he famously said on the day when he penned one of the most brilliant chapters of his career. These words were spoken in the changing rooms at Indian Wells when he called home with the news after beating Gustavo Kuerten in the semi-finals. The victory guaranteed he would be one of the 26 players to have occupied the top spot in the open era.
Moyà had arrived at the Masters in the Californian desert as world number 4. Ahead of him, the podium was occupied by Pete Sampras (1), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (2) and Álex Corretjà (3). Incidentally, there were only 215 points between him and the peak. It was no easy task, but a certain combination of results would fast-track him to the top.
Sampras, Kafelnikov and Corretjà all failed to get past the second round. The American fell to Félix Mantilla (7-6, 3-6, 6-3), while the Russian bowed out to Gustavo Kuerten (0-6, 7-6(4), 6-3) and the Catalan was outplayed by Mark Philippoussis (4-6, 7-5, 6-2). This scenario gave Moyà a clear goal; reach the final of Indian Wells and become world number one.
And indeed he did. One by one, the Balearic Islander picked off his opponents: Jim Courier, Xavier Malisse, Karol Kucera and Gustavo Kuerten. After a tight clash with the Brazilian (6-3, 1-6, 6-1), Moyà’s cry of joy marked a milestone in Spanish tennis. He did, however, fail to seal the title in a final against Philippoussis that went to five sets (7-5, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 2-6).
The following day, the Spanish press lauded Moyà’s performance at Indian Wells, which provided a spectacular end to a dream year. ‘A Spaniard at the pinnacle of tennis’, declared El País of the feat. ‘Carlos Moyà, the first Spanish world number one’, hailed the El Mundo daily, while Marca dedicated its front page to the Mallorcan’s achievement.
He was only able to enjoy being the best player on the planet for two weeks, but what nobody can ever take away from the Technical Director of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar is the honour of being the first Spaniard to achieve the feat.
Carlos Moyà’s number-1 trophy is now on display at the Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience, alongside the one that was awarded to Rafa in 2008. Any tennis and sports fans who would like to see it will be able to do so for the next few weeks at the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre facilities.
Just under six months ago, Casper Ruud joined the team at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, when he was still just 19 years of age, ranked 143rd in the ATP world ranking and considered to be one of the most promising players of his generation. His immediate goal was to break into the top 100 as soon as possible. And that day has arrived. On Monday 4 March, the Norwegian reached the highest position of his career by climbing to no. 94 in the world.
The news means that the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar now has two players among the one hundred best in the world ranking, with Ruud himself and also Jaume Munar, who kept his best ATP ranking (no. 61) for a further week. “I think it has been a very positive spell, both for the two players and for the Academy, as there have been some good results that allowed Casper to join Jaume in the top 100” stated Pedro Clar, one of his coaches.
The jump in the rankings by the player born in Oslo 20 years ago comes after an outstanding performance in Brazil. At the ATP 500 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, he reached the quarter-finals having come through qualifying, and one week later he got to the semis in Sao Paulo (ATP 250), leaving in his wake opponents with vast experience and renown in this kind of tournament and surface, such as Thomaz Bellucci, Joao Sousa, Calors Berlocq and Thiago Monteiro.
In total, Ruud, picked up 200 points, allowing him to climb from the no. 135 spot he occupied before making his way to Rio, to no. 94 on Monday. “In this period, Casper has managed to grow, he has worked hard and played with discipline and a game that allowed him to play his best tennis”, revealed Clar.
The Norwegian has a 5-2 match record on the ATP Tour so far this season. “I think, from now on, we’ll start to see the best of Casper, as having reached the top 100 will give him a huge confidence boost that will allow him to tap into his full potential. He is a player huge room for improvement”, continued the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar coach.
For his part, Munar is the Spanish player with the second greatest number of victories in 2019, only two behind the 11 of Roberto Bautista. The Balearic Islander strung together quarter-finals in Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Rio, while in Sao Paulo he bowed out in the second round. “These weeks have been very competitive”, stated Clar. “He played some good matches and for the first time he managed to beat top 20 players. On a mental level I think this will give him confidence, as he was able to see that he has what it takes to compete and to be able to beat quality players”.
Munar and Ruud are reaping the rewards of daily hard work. “I think that we are on track and that there is some good teamwork going on, so this must give them extra motivation to maintain the same approach for the next tournaments”, warned Clar before adding that “now it is time to keep working and being ambitious, because despite the good performances in recent weeks, there is always something to improve on”.
The foundations have been laid. Casper Ruud is getting ever closer to lifting his first ATP crown and in the first four months of the season he has taken the steps required to put him on the verge of his first title. The player from the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar battled it out on Sunday in the Houston final, but he will have to wait a little longer before he gets the first trophy for his cabinet.
The result takes nothing away from a fantastic week in which he continued the form that saw him produce an outstanding start to the season. He started to see the fruits of a good preseason when he reached the quarter-finals in Rio de Janeiro, where he also had to come through qualifying. Shortly afterwards, he played in the semi-finals in Sao Paulo. And recently in Houston he took part in the first ATP final of his young career, although he was unable to beat the Chilean Christian Garín in the title match.
“I feel like I played a good match, but he was a little better in the final and he deserved the victory”, he recognised after the tie. But his performance was deserving of recognition. In the first round he knocked out the Bolivian Hugo Dellien (7-6, 6-4), and he later came through a tough clash which was decided in the final set against local player Reilly Opelka in the second round (4-6, 6-4, 6-4). Veteran player Marcel Granollers was also unable to deal with Ruud (6-1, 6-0) and in the semi-final he made easy work of the tournament’s surprise package, the Colombian Daniel Elahi Galán (7-5, 6-2).
With two hours and 29 minutes of play, Ruud was unable to cap off his brilliant performance in Houston. Despite fighting back from a set down, he ended up losing the final 6-7(4), 6-4, 3-6. “This result gives me even more confidence that I can play at this level”, declared the player, who was born in Oslo 20 years ago.
Huge positives have come out of a week when the Norwegian enjoyed the biggest leap in the ATP ranking, climbing 27 positions from no. 95 to his highest point in the world ranking at no. 68. The 150 points he picked up in Houston mean he climbed more than any other player this week, beating the 26 positions gained by French player Benoit Paire and Christian Garín himself.
In addition, Ruud can now boast to being the sixth best under-21 player in the ATP ranking. This means that, if he maintains that position through the end of the season, he will have a place at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, a tournament that Jaume Munar, his fellow student at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, played in last year. The Norwegian has collected 410 points in 2019 thanks to a 9-4 record on the ATP tour and 4-4 on the ATP Challenge Tour.
Casper is progressing at a rate of knots and he is just 29 positions short of the highest ranking occupied by his father Christian on the ATP tour (no. 39 in the world in 1995). He has already equalled another of his father’s marks; being an ATP Tour finalist. Will the apprentice outdo his master? He has plenty of time to do so.
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