It is well known that the Nadal family is good at handling balls. Rafael Nadal is a 20-time Grand Slam winner in tennis. His uncle Miguel Angel Nadal won five Spanish football championships with FC Barcelona in the 1990s and took part in three world championships with Spain.
Now the next Nadal is already in the starting blocks: Joan Nadal Vives comes to the ITF tournament in Manacor for his first appearance with the professionals. There the son of Rafa’s uncle and ex-trainer Toni Nadal failed in the first round of qualification.
The fact that the 16-year-old is allowed to compete at all has to do with the fact that the tournament takes place on the grounds of his cousin Rafael Nadal’s academy. Before that, he only played one ITF junior tournament and lost there in the first qualifying round.
It is therefore more than questionable that the current world number 1312 can even come close to following in the footsteps of its famous cousin. For comparison: At the same age Rafa was already number 200. At junior level he only appeared twice: In Wimbledon he made it to the semi-finals in 2002, in the junior Davis Cup he won the title with Spain. And in the spring of 2004, 17-year-old Rafa defeated Roger Federer for the first time in Miami. The “third” Nadal is still miles away from that. (red)