Rafael Nadal always saw himself involved in sports even if he did not become a professional tennis player, but now since he is one of the greatest to have played the game, he plans to give back via his academy and foundation once he hangs up his racket.
The Spaniard has had a few difficult seasons in the last two to three years when he struggled with injury and has failed to win a Grand Slam since the French Open in 2014. He started well in 2016 but a wrist injury derailed his season and after playing through the pain, he was forced to cut short his season in October, which did raise questions about his future in the game.
The 30-year-old, however, has answered his critics in the best possible way by returning to his best level in 2017. Nadal returned to action in January and since then he has made five finals in the seven tournaments he has played winning two titles – the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion is unlikely to call time on his career anytime soon, but revealed that he has been making plans for his future for a number of years. The Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy opened its doors in Mallorca in October last year, and the Rafael Nadal Foundation has its roots in different countries offering education and sports programmes to underprivileged children.
"I see it's complicated leaving Mallorca, here I have people who I love and with who I feel well. We are in a calm, beautiful place, the weather is good and we are not in a big city. You can do several things during the day. Then I have my foundation that is growing and that is an important part of my future," Nadal said when asked where he sees himself in 15 years, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
"At business level I have been preparing my future for years, and my academy is an example, that's an important part currently and in the future. Because of the career I had, I will have always to do some things. If I didn't have this chance, I would have surely studied but at the end I would have worked in sports, which is my passion," the Spaniard added.