Rafael Nadal was the youngster on a mission in early 2003, reaching four Challenger finals and winning a title to move closer to a spot in the top-100 as a 16-year-old. Making his Masters 1000 debut as a qualifier in Monte Carlo, Nadal showed his full potential and toppled Karol Kucera in the first round before defeating current Roland Garros winner Albert Costa in the second for the first win in the top 10. and a place in the round of 16. There, Rafa faced Guillermo Coria and fought well in the first set before the Argentine achieved a 7-6, 6-2 win in one hour and 34 minutes. Both players created eight break opportunities, and Coria took advantage of five of them. Guillermo broke three times and controlled the pace after that tight first set he claimed after Nadal’s forehand error at 6-3 in the tie break. 5-1 down in set number two, Rafa took a break before returning to serve in the next game after a poor low shot that propelled Coria into the last eight. Despite the defeat, the young man was satisfied with his performance that week, feeling a bit tired but wanting to continue with good results. “I am happy with this tournament and with how I played today despite the loss as I produced solid tennis and created opportunities. Guillermo was physically stronger than me. He had played a lot of games in the last few days and I was feeling a bit tired, I have to admit. My shots were not where I wanted them to be and Guillermo dominated me; he deserved the victory. Yesterday I defeated Costa, but it was not possible against Coria. Although I’m happy with a 7-6, 6-2 loss, that’s not so bad against such a good player. Tomorrow I will rest a bit and then I will start preparing for Barcelona.”
Nadal is currently in rehabilitation
The city council of Sant Llorenc des Cardessar, a Mallorcan municipality, has decided to give Rafael Nadal the label of “adopted son”. As per a MARCA report, the title will be made official in a plenary session to be held in Manacor on Wednesday. “The contribution of Rafa Nadal was the largest received by the municipality,” the statement read. “This recognition, published in the BOIB of 2020, and submitted to public information, is a further thanks to the tennis player for his solidarity.” The council also credited the 20-time Grand Slam champion for all the other work he has done in Spain, as well as across the world, to help those in need. “The solidarity, humanity and sensitivity of the athlete is not only demonstrated with this fact, but also with the creation of his structure, which through the transforming power of sport and education helps girls, boys and adolescents with learning disabilities or inability to integrate,” the statement said.