Although the tennis tour is cancelled until 13 July, the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar has started to think about the future to encourage numerous ATP and WTA players to enjoy, where the circumstances allow it, its facilities and compete in a safe environment over the next few months.
The proposal would see the Rafa Nadal Academy possibly become a campus where elite players can reside, train and compete between themselves in matches that will be televised so that fans around the world can enjoy them.
“In recent weeks we have made our facilities available to Chairman of the ATP Andrea Gaudenzi with the goal of possibly making the Academy a centre for the coming together of players so that they can train in an environment that is ideal for first-class competition. While the priority is obviously for a resumption of play for the regular Tour, the ATP is evaluating all options, keeping in mind health & safety as the top priority”, said Carlos Costa, the Head of Business Development at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar.
The idea came from Rafa Nadal himself, who has been a driving force behind the initiative: “Right now tennis takes a back seat and the most important thing is everyone’s health, but if in the coming months the Academy can be used to help other professional players, I’d be delighted if they could come to train and also to compete. Although we have no upcoming tournaments, I think that competing among ourselves would help us maintain our game for when the tour restarts”, said Rafa himself.
For his part, Carlos Costa highlighted the Academy’s organisational capacity: “At the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre, we have the capacity to host a significant number of players and coaches so that they can train and compete without having to leave the Academy. We have a large fitness centre, a semi-Olympic swimming pool and a spa that would allow them to have a good preseason and to reach peak fitness. The size of the facilities would also allow, if necessary, the logistics to be organised to respect any sanitary and social-distancing protocols”.
During the last two editions of the Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s International Realty, the Academy hosted over 80 ATP players for the ATP Challenger tournament that took place in Manacor in 2018 and 2019.
Likewise, the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar hosts men’s and women’s ITF World Tour tournaments, the Master Nacional Futuro MAPFRE, the Spanish Wheelchair Tennis Championships, ITF World Tour Junior tournaments, ITF Senior tournaments and events on junior tours such as the Rafa Nadal Tour by MAPFRE, the Babolat Cup and the Under-16 Mutua Madrid Open. All of them are events in which the players are able to stay at the Academy full-time, competing and training without having to leave the facilities.