Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rafa's Road to Wimbledon

Wimbledon starts tomorrow! Most players had about two to three weeks to prepare for the grass. Some played grass-court warm-up tournaments, others took a mini-break. We wonder what else have they been doing? Rafael Nadal was one of the last players to arrive in London. Let's take a look at what he's been up to the past couple of weeks. 

First Stop: Halle, Germany

Rafa usually plays the Aegon Championships as Wimbledon warm-up, but this time he decided to try Halle (Gerry Weber Open). The transition to grass has always been difficult to the Spaniard, and this year is no exception. He was defeated in the quarter-finals by German Philipp Kohlschreiber. A little loss, perfectly understandable after the intense clay-court campaign and the emotional victory at the French Open.
"I have really enjoyed Halle. Now I'll have a rest after two months of hard competition", Rafa posted on FB.   

Second stop: Home, Mallorca, Spain

Nadal was begging for some time off. He told the BBC Sports after his defeat at Halle that he "played almost every match possible since Indian Wells". "It's better not to practice for a few days. It's time to rest with my family, friends, to relax," he added. And so he did.

Hanging out with friends

After a lunch with his cousins

 Beach time with friends and girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello (Xisca)

Third stop: Wimbledon, London

Rafa arrived in London on Wednesday and went to practice, just like any other player. On Thursday, he had a surprise for his fans and it had nothing to do with tennis. On his Facebook and Twitter, he announced he was learning how to play poker! The Spanish star signed a deal with Poker Stars and will represent Team PokerStars SportStars (that includes ex-tennis player Boris Becker) in online tournaments, advertising campaigns, and charitable events. The endorsement deal is valid for a two-year period and according to some sources is worth 12 million euros.

Fourth Stop: Getting ready for the Grass

June, 21- Morning practice cancelled due to rain. Nadal heads to the kitchen. :)

Multi-talented Rafa!
Friday, cloudy but good enough to hit some volleys. Practicing with Gilles Simon.

Later in the evening, Google + hangout with the fans. Time for some lovin'!

Saturday, practice as usual, this time with Stanislas Wawrinka

Football in the evening. Cheering for his Spanish fellows at the Euro 2012

Spain is in the semis
That's all folks. Hope you enjoyed the public weeks/life of a tennis player :)

(Images via Nadal's Official Facebook, except photos on the beach which belong to Rafaholics)

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