This result means that Nadal has now won 29 consecutive Davis Cup matches in the singles. And it is a similar story in the doubles. To find his last defeat there we have to go back to 2005 when he lost a pairs match against the Italian duo of Daniele Bracciali and Giorgio Galimberti alongside Feliciano López (6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 9-7).
This season in Madrid, the Spaniard once again demonstrated his competitive dominance. In the singles he beat Khachanov (RUS), Gojo (CRO), Schwartzman (ARG), Evans (GBR) and Shapovalov (CAN), while in the doubles he saw off Dodig/Pavic (CRO) with Marcel Granollers, González/Mayer (ARG) also with Granollers and Murray/Skupski (GBR) with Feliciano López.
The result gives him his fifth title in the competition, well ahead of the following countries with the most trophies since 2000: France (2001, 2017), Croatia (2005, 2018) and the Czech Republic (2012, 2013) with two crowns each. For their part, Russia (2002), Australia (2003), the USA (2007), Serbia (2010), Switzerland (2014), GB (2015) and Argentina (2016) have each won it once, giving real perspective to the Mallorcan’s achievement.
And it is a tangible feat for anyone who wants to make the trip to the Rafa Nadal Museum, which now houses a trophy that all the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar players have already had the chance to see.
Apart from being Nadal’s fifth Davis Cup, it also represents a magic number; it is the 100th title he has lifted in his career. To the 84 singles trophies he has earned, and the 11 in doubles, he can now add five Davis Cups. This century of wins puts him in the select company of John McEnroe (160), Mike Bryan (128), Jimmy Connors (126), Bob Bryan (126), Roger Federer (112), Ilie Nastase (107), Stan Smith (102) and Ivan Lendl (101).
It is true that Nadal shares 5 Davis Cup titles with Feliciano López and there are two other Spaniards who have won more matches than him in the competition: Manolo Santana (69) and Manuel Orantes (39). But nobody in the Open Era has won more Salad Bowls. To find players with more trophies to their name you have to go all the way back to the days of black and white, with Roy Emerson (8), Fraser (7), Johnson (7), Smith (7), Tilden (7), Norris Williams (7), Borotra (6) and Cochet (6). It is yet another example of the extraordinary legend Nadal is building himself, in both individual and team events.
Casper Ruud’s season has caught everyone’s attention. The player from the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, who was the world number 135 last February, has enjoyed a meteoric rise this season to end 2019 at the highest position of his career, number 54 in the ATP Rankings, climbing 80 positions in one year.
The Norwegian’s season has earned him a place among the nominees for the Newcomer of the Year at the ATP Awards, held each year by the tour’s governing body. At 20 years of age he forms part of the golden generation known as the #NextGenATP and in November he had the chance to battle it out at the Next Gen ATP Finals for the title in Milan, which brings together the best eight players in his age group.
However, Ruud shares his nomination for the Newcomer of 2019 with some of his peers, such as Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alejandro Davidovich, Miomir Kecmanovic, Corentin Moutet, Alexei Popyrin, Jannik Sinner and Mikael Ymer, all of whom are in the top 100 of the ATP Rankings.
For the first time, the player born in Oslo in December 1998 finished a complete ATP Tour season with more victories than defeats (23-19). And Ruud notched up over half of his career win total (40) this season. The first victories came in an outstanding South American swing, where he reached the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 in Rio de Janeiro, having come through qualifying, and the semi-finals at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo.
However, one of the biggest moments of his season would have to wait until Houston. On the distinctive American clay, he overcame some impressive players (Dellien, Opelka, Granollers, Daniel Elahi Galán) to reach his first ATP Tour final. Riding a wave of confidence, he then produced his best result at an ATP Masters 1000 in Rome, beating opponents such as Daniel Evans and Nick Kyrgios to reach the last sixteen.
At the French Open, he also produced his best performance in a Grand Slam, reaching the third round. Only Roger Federer was able to stop him in his tracks, after he had beat Ernests Gulbis and Matteo Berrettini. On the return to clay in the summer in Gstaad, he reached another semi-final by beating Pablo Cuevas and Pablo Carreño, while on indoor hard court in Saint Petersburg he showed that he can also produce the goods when he is not on clay by reaching the quarter-finals.
All of these feats mean it has been a memorable year for Casper Ruud, and they have earned him a chance to be the Newcomer of 2019.
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.
Having opened its doors in 2016, the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar has already become one of the leading sports centres in the world. Located in Manacor, Rafa Nadal’s native city, the Academy boasts state-of-the-art facilities and an infrastructure purpose built for the current era which will be strengthened with an expansion that will allow the centre to meet the huge demand from the players and fans that visit its facilities every year.
The expansion of the Academy will include the construction of a multi-use hall that will house 3 indoor fast courts, 7 covered clay courts that will allow players to be provided with an optimum service during days when adverse weather playing tennis difficult. This building will have spaces dedicated to fitness training, physiotherapy, psychology, nutrition and sports medicine that will provide players with a comprehensive service. In addition, a further 8 outdoor clay courts will be built.
The expansion, which was approved by law in June 2018 by the Balearic parliament and was today ratified by the Consell de Govern, will consolidate the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar as a driver for employment that will continue to boost the riches of Manacor and its district while strengthening sports tourism on the Balearic Islands. Consolidating the Rafa Nadal Academy’s commitment to local tennis, players from Manacor and its surroundings will continue to benefit from the training offered by the Es Centre competition school for children and adults.
The news means that the Rafa Nadal Academy and Es Centre will enjoy first-class sports facilities for the use of both international public and Mallorcans. After the expansion, the complex will have the following facilities:
- 19 outdoor fast courts
- 15 outdoor clay courts
- 4 indoor hard courts
- 7 covered clay courts
- 1 football pitch
- 7 padel courts
- 2 squash courts
- 1 semi-Olympic swimming pool
- 1 outdoor swimming pool
- Fitness Centre
Also, in addition to its international renown through the Academy, a Sports Tourism Centre (Rafa Nadal Sports Centre), and the Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience, the facilities have a clear commitment to serve Mallorcans, who can enjoy a fitness centre (SPORTTIME), a café/restaurant (Sports Café) and a Wellness and Spa centre every day of the week. Also, the bilingual education college (Rafa Nadal International School) is open for all students who wish to be educated in Mallorca, without necessarily taking a tennis course.
A second phase of the project will see the Rafa Nadal Sports centre add to the 80 places available for sports tourism, giving the complex a total of 214 (compared to the current 134). Supervised places for young players at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar will not undergo any expansion, maintaining the 140 places that have been there since 2016.
The expansion of the Academy, where construction will get underway in 10 days, will allow the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar to consolidate itself as one of the main economic drivers in the area by increasing the number of direct jobs (it currently employs 302 people) and indirect jobs through the local companies that form part of the project.
History of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar
Although the Academy project was born more than a decade ago in the minds of Rafa Nadal and his team, it was 3 November 2014 when official construction began on the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, a historic milestone that took place on 24 November with a symbolic act of the placing of the first stone.
After holding the first Summer Camp in summer 2016, the first class of students joined the Academy on 1 September. The official inauguration of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar took place on 19 October 2016 at an emotional event that was attended by Roger Federer, José María Álvarez-Pallete (Chief Executive of Telefónica) and big names and personalities from the world of tennis.
Once the Academy had consolidated itself in Manacor, an expansion project begun with the opening of the “Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre” complexes in Costa Mujeres (Mexico) and Halkidiki (Greece) where tennis programmes are taught using the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar methodology.
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