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 7 things detailing Rafael Nadal likes and dislikes

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rafael nadal likes and dislikes
Rafael Nadal. Photo/GQ
  • The Spaniard has a superseding reputation for his unparalleled athleticism
  • Nadal has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in tennis history
  • He has 14 French Open victories out of his 22 career Grand Slams

When it comes to the world of tennis, few names command as much respect and admiration as Rafa Nadal. The Spaniard has a superseding reputation for his unparalleled athleticism, determination and raw humility. But what constitutes Rafael Nadal likes and dislikes?

Nadal has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in tennis history. He is popularly known as ‘King of Clay’ in tennis circles over his dominance at Roland Garros. The 37-year-old has 14 Grand Slam titles from the French Open alone. However, beyond his formidable presence on the tennis court, fans often wonder about his personal preferences. What makes him happy and content and what doesn’t. This article focuses on the things that he has openly talked about; struggles and cheerful moments.


There are many things you would take a wild take a wild guess on but none comes close to Rafael Nadal likes and dislikes. Take a look.

What Does Rafael Nadal Like?

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Rafael Nadal at the Rada Nadal Academy. Photo/Mint

The 22-time Grand Slam champion loves football with all his being. He is a staunch supporter of Real Madrid, despite his uncle having played for their rivals, Barcelona. There was a rumour at the end of 2023 that he would vie for the club’s presidency after retiring from tennis.  He stayed off the ATP Tour for the whole season after an injury at the Australian Open 2023. His return to tennis seemed bleak and he announced that he would take a bow after playing at the 2024 French Open. As it stands now, no one know when he will retire from tennis.

Consequently, Nadal enjoys a round of golf and is a champion in Balearic Mid-Amateur Championship. He says golfing is less demanding physically unlike tennis but his love for the latter is immeasurable. Also on his list of the things he likes is enjoying quality time at home with his wife and child hooked in play station.

Lastly, philanthropy holds a special place in his heart, with his foundation, Rafa Nadal Foundation supporting vulnerable children around the world.

What Does Rafael Nadal Dislike?

Rafael Nadal likes and dislikes – sleeping and mathematical computation form his biggest dislikes on a personal level. He told tennis commentator Jim Courier in a previous interview that he doesn’t like sleeping for long.

“Seriously, I don’t like to sleep a lot. I feel that when I am sleeping that I am losing time,” he confessed. He enjoys short sleep intervals, allowing him more to spend more time in practice and pursuing personal goals such as his businesses. He also expressed his aversion for mathematics which isn’t new because he always disliked this subject ever since he was in school.

On-court, he has several things he doesn’t like much. He has a well-documented aversion to grass surfaces, finding them unfamiliar and demanding adjustments to his baseline-oriented game. The quicker pace and lower bounce present a unique challenge compared to his preferred clay.

Additionally, while known for his fierce competitiveness, Nadal has revealed a dislike for losing but adds that it is a facts every athlete is open to.


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Rafael Nadal. Photo/Tennis Buzz

Nadal is under tremendous pressure to succeed at the greatest level, like many other professional sportsmen, and Despite his incredible success on the tennis court, Nadal has been transparent about his anxiety issues. This strain occasionally manifests itself as anxiety. The Spaniard has said that he gets anxious before big matches and that he has had periods of uncertainty and anxiety throughout his career. But his capacity to transform these feelings into focus and resolve speaks volumes about his mental toughness and resiliency on the court.


Like any athlete, Nadal has shortcomings despite his stellar tennis career record. Critics frequently bring up his proneness to injuries, especially to his knees. Nadal has struggled with a number of ailments during his career, like wrist issues and tendonitis in his knees, pushing him out of tour for long. Despite these losses. Still, he bounces back, a case in point being 2022 where he won the Australian Open, French Open and the US Open despite battling injury for over six months in 2021.

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Rafael Nadal. Photo/Hindustan times


Speaking of Rafael Nadal likes and dislikes, he has been open about his battles with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). OCD is a mental illness marked by intrusive thoughts and repetitive activities. Nadal has been open about how his OCD shows itself in his daily life, especially in his painstaking pre-match preparations. His OCD is apparent in his on-court conduct, which includes everything from placing his water bottles in a particular sequence to painstakingly fixing his socks in between points.


Traditional Spanish paella, a fragrant rice meal usually made with seafood or meat and seasoned with saffron and other aromatic spices, is one cuisine that has a special place in Nadal’s heart. Nadal has in the past spoken about his love for paella, describing it as the ultimate comfort dish. According to him, this dish takes him back to his childhood. He also loves the rich flavors of Spanish tapas, especially tortilla española (Spanish omelette) and jamón ibérico (Iberian ham).

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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