Sports

5 Unusual Quirks That Rafael Nadal Has Held For Years

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

With Rafa finally battling through intense pain in his run-up to the Wimbledon 2022 semifinals, all eyes are on the prolific World No. 4 Spaniard. During the next games, you might notice the tennis star perform a few unusual actions. Here's some of his most iconic quirks as a player:

Bottle Placement

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

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.  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. 

Racquet Tape

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

One of Nadal's oldest habits is his ritual of taping each of his racquets the same way before a game. ”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.

Celebrating The Toss

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

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.

Fidgeting

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

Sure, being a tennis player requires a certain level of energy – but Nadal is simply one of the most restless Grand Slammers out there. It's a common sight to see Rafa tug at his shorts, shirt, hair – anything to release his pent-up adrenaline.

Cold Showers

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

Image Credits: @RafaelNadalFC

One of Rafa's pre-game rituals involves taking ice-cold showers. “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."