Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has opened an academy bearing his name in his hometown on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, with his friend and long-time rival Roger Federer as the guest of honour.
The Rafa Nadal Academy is built across 24,000 square meters (258,000 sq. ft.) and is to combine tennis lessons with academics, reports Efe."It's a dream come true," said Nadal, who along with Federer and President-CEO of Telefonica, Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, unveiled the facilities to numerous guests and officials on Wednesday.
Among those present were the president of the Balearic Government Francina Armengol, the presidents of the International Tennis Federation and the Association of Tennis Professionals , David Hagerty and Chris Kermode, respectively, and the chairman of Wimbledon Phillip Brook.The sports centre consists of a residence, 26 clay courts, a fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a seven-a-side soccer field, among other sports facilities.The centre will create employment for some 140 people and also includes the Nadal Foundation and a museum.Nadal described it as "a project that my team and I have worked toward for years".