Rafael Nadal seeks to boost tennis in Asia with launch of HK centre

Rosy Mina

Posted at Jun 25 2022 02:53 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2022 02:59 PM

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Rafael Nadal of Spain, who won his 22nd grand slam title at Roland Garros 2022, believes that the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre will be a success: “We are very excited about this new international project in Hong Kong.”

The Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy partnered with the Rafa Nadal Academy to launch Asia’s first Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre.

The Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy and Rafa Nadal Academy aim to nurture the next generation of sporting talent in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy prides itself in the very best international standard facilities.

Facilities of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Mallorca, Spain.

New World Development CEO Adrian Cheng says “bringing the first Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre to Asia is a groundbreaking milestone not only for the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy, but for Hong Kong.”

MANILA – “Work hard, have fun, and make it happen.” 

These words by 22-time grand slam champion and former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain will resonate beginning July 1 at the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy (HKGTA), where the third Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre (RNTC) is set to open as the first of its kind in Asia. 

Nadal’s success mantra symbolizes the DNA of the Rafa Nadal Academy (RNA) by Movistar that was established in 2016 by the reigning Roland Garros titlist in his hometown of Manacor in Mallorca, and has since expanded to Kuwait.

As a complement to the RNA, the RNTC is offering junior and adult programs at high-class vacation facilities such as TRS Coral Hotel and Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico and Sani Resort in Halkidiki Peninsula, Greece. 

“We are very excited about this new international project in Hong Kong,” Nadal said in a statement. 

“Since the opening of the Academy in Mallorca five years ago, we have always found it very interesting to expand our methodology to more countries to reach as many people as possible.” 

The HKGTA echoed Nadal’s statement, adding that its mother company, New World Development Company Limited, will award two training sponsorships through the HKGTA Foundation.

“Bringing the first Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre to Asia is a groundbreaking milestone not only for HKGTA, but for Hong Kong,” said New World Development CEO Adrian Cheng. 

“We have so much talent locally, and it is wonderful to help bring such a prestigious institution to Hong Kong and give our potential next-generation tennis champions the world-class training they need to succeed.”

Although the sponsorships are only for tennis players in Hong Kong, the HKGTA assured that other nationalities may learn through the RNA methodology at the RNTC.

“The Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre at HKGTA will exclusively be open to HKGTA Patrons, and HKGTA is open to all nationalities,” the HKGTA told ABS-CBN News.

Ever since the announcement of the RNTC’s launch in Hong Kong’s Sai Kung Peninsula, the local tennis community has been abuzz.

“The city is excited to welcome the first Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre in Asia, proudly located in the heart of Hong Kong! We have received overwhelming positive responses and enquiries, not only from the tennis community, sports industry, but also from the general public,” shared the HKGTA.

The RNA methodology

With Nadal being one of the greatest tennis players of all time, his RNA methodology is widely considered as effective and top-notch.

“The methodology, which can be adapted to the age, level, and needs of any player, is based on an exclusive training system designed through the experiences acquired by Rafa Nadal and his coaching staff during their many years of learning on the professional tennis circuit,” the HKGTA explained.

A dedicated RNTC team from Mallorca will conduct the innovative and tailor-made RNA methodology in Hong Kong to ensure the correct implementation of tennis training, physical training, mental training, nutrition, and competition.

“For us, having reliable partners is essential, and for this reason I am grateful to the HKGTA team for their enormous confidence in us. The facilities are spectacular and we will have great coaches leading the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre. I am convinced it will be a success,” commented Nadal.

At the helm of the RNA as Head of Academy and Head Coach is Nadal’s uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal, with whom the Spanish legend achieved 17 grand slam championship victories.

Nadal’s current coach and countryman, former World No. 1 and 1998 Roland Garros champion Carlos Moya, is the RNA Technical Director.

This year’s historic Roland Garros final was an RNA showcase as it featured Nadal winning his 22nd major by besting Casper Ruud of Norway, who has been training with the RNA team since 2018.

As of June 20, 2022, Nadal is the ATP World No. 4 while Ruud is at a career-high ranking of No. 5 in the world.

Another RNA player is Hong Kong’s rising star, Coleman Wong, who won the boys’ doubles titles at the 2021 US Open and 2022 Australian Open. 

The 18-year-old has one professional doubles title on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tour from the 2022 W15 Manacor in Spain.

His fellow RNA player, Alexandra “Alex” Eala of the Philippines, is a former Juniors World No. 2 with two junior grand slam titles from the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 Roland Garros girls’ doubles tournaments.

Eala, 17, has won two ITF titles on the Women’s World Tennis Tour: the 2021 W15 Manacor and 2022 W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.

Her older brother, Miko Eala, is an RNA graduate who is playing for the Pennsylvania State University men’s tennis team in the United States NCAA Division 1.

Miko has recently turned pro by qualifying for the main draw in the 2022 M15 Tay Ninh in Vietnam.

A landmark partnership

With the forthcoming opening of the RNTC in Hong Kong next month, the HKGTA marveled at how its partnership with the RNA came to fruition. 

“HKGTA and RNA share the same passion and commitment – to support and encourage the next generation of tennis talents as well as the overall sports development commitment in Hong Kong,” it said.

“HKGTA’s landmark partnership with RNA to create the first Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre in Asia demonstrates the strong sporting principles of both parties – and represents New World Development Company Limited’s strong passion and commitment for fostering young talent in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area as a whole.”

Aside from providing tennis enthusiasts and aspiring players the experience of training with the RNA methodology at the RNTC, the HKGTA will also be home to the Rafa Nadal Shop that will offer exclusive RNA products.

As the RNA, HKGTA, and New World Development seek to continue taking sports excellence to new heights in Asia, they wish to instill Nadal’s key characteristics in budding netters through the RNTC.

These are athleticism, winning spirit, competitive mentality, intensity in training and during matches, concentration, anticipation, tactical knowledge, and learning to compete.

“The sports seed planted in Mallorca has now germinated in Kuwait, Mexico, Greece, and Hong Kong,” remarked the RNA.

“The goal is to perpetuate the international expansion so that the tennis and human spirit of Rafa Nadal can permeate more countries in the years to come,” it concluded.

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