Rafael Nadal has once again proven why he is the numero uno player in tennis at the moment, with a scintillating win over Nick Kyrgios in the finals of China Open. While we all know about how great he is at Tennis, especially on clay courts, did you know that he has a lot of superstitions (or rituals) that he follows every time he steps on the court?
Let’s take a look at few of the quirkiest ones.
Nadal always places his sports drink and water bottles the same way, diagonally aligned near his bench. “I put the two bottles down at my feet, in front of my chair to my left, one neatly behind the other, diagonally aimed at the court. Some call it superstition, but it’s not. If it were superstition, why would I keep doing the same thing over and over whether I win or lose? It’s a way of placing myself in a match, ordering my surroundings to match the order I seek in my head,” he wrote in his autobiography.
” I put the grips on my rackets, all six I’d be taking on court. I always do this. They come with a black pre-grip. I roll a white tape over the black one, spinning the tape around and around, working diagonally up the shaft. I don’t need to think about it, I just do it. As if in a trance,” he wrote in his autobiography.
When the toss happens, you’ll always see Rafael Nadal jumping around. This probably pumps him up, and also intimidates the opponent considering his reputation and physique.
Nadal has a peculiar habit of fidgeting with his shorts, his t-shirt and his hair. Again, he does it so often that it doesn’t seem natural, but rather something he does to calm himself down or stay focussed. If a rule was made barring such actions, Nadal would suffer immensely.
“Forty-ﬁve minutes before facing Federer I began the last phase of my pre-game ritual. I took a cold shower. Freezing cold water. I do this before every match. It’s the point before the point of no return. Under the cold shower I enter a new space in which I feel my power and resilience grow,” he wrote in his autobiography Rafa: My Story.