His popularity has also earned him the spoils of a successful tennis career in the form of global ambassadorships with Kia Motors, Bacardi, and Nike, to name just a few. One of the more extravagant perks has been his Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon watch valued at $690,000. Nadal was involved in both the design and testing and sets the watch to local time wherever he goes. His dark, handsome model looks have also been the perfect pairing for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans.
Nadal is also an excellent golfer — he has a 3.5 handicap and plays right-handed. When prodded, he is quite modest about his game. “I like to golf for relaxation, but to be a professional golfer I would have to have started when I was a kid.” He loves the tranquility of fly-fishing, watching movies and sports, and playing soccer, and is an avid fan of Spanish football, particularly RCD Mallorca and Real Madrid. He also created the Rafa Nadal Foundation in 2007 that provides opportunities for disadvantaged and underprivileged youth, using sports to instill values and increase self-esteem. Nadal’s mother, Ana Maria Parera, chairs the organization.
In a career riddled with injuries that resulted from the play on hazardous hard courts (Nadal recently returned after a months-long absence due to tendinitis), one wonders what the tennis sensation would do if it all ended tomorrow. While he coyly acknowledges, “I think I have a few things I will enjoy,” it’s likely that fishing, a boat, and the sea would be involved.
To learn more about the Rafa Nadal Foundation, visit rafaelnadal.com.