Nadal, who was just 19 years old when he won his first Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2005, has been constantly winning titles and performing at an unequalled high level since then. Despite the many injuries and setbacks that even threatened his career at times, the Spaniard has experienced enormous success for now well over a decade.
In an Interview in front of the crowd of the Arthur Ashe Stadium after winning the semifinal matchup against the Italian Matteo Berrettini just two days before winning his 19th title, Nadal said: “The secret of winning many titles and playing at such a high level is the passion and love for this sport”. He continues to say “…it´s impossible to have a triumphant and long-lasting career if you don´t like what you are doing”.
But behind Nadals success is more than just love and passion for the sport. Aside from his work hard mentality, his play hinges on little details which include a strict routine of preparation before every training, before every match, before every serve and yes, even before every time he switches sides on the tennis court.
These strict routines and his rituals include (but are not limited to) Nadal always crossing a line with his right foot first on the court and if he can avoid it, never stepping on a line. He also sips his water and recovery drink always in the same order and even places them in the same exact position at every match. When switching court sides, he always waits for the players to cross first and then steps over the line with the right foot first again to crossover to the other side of the court. Shortly before and after every match Nadal also indulges in a super cold shower.
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