Rafael Nadal says the routines and rituals that he does while competing in tennis may be stupid but they help him control his focus on the game.
The world number two is well-known for his on-court practices that include positioning his water bottles in a specific line, walking along the base line, and a routine of touching his shorts, shoulders, ears and nose on every serve.
Nadal, who has 20 Grand slam titles and is current joint record holder with Roger Federer, is hoping to win his second Australian Open when the slam begins on February 8, and he can become the first man in history to win each Grand Slam multiple times should he achieve it.
Speaking from his hotel room, the Spaniard told CNN why he does the routines and how it helps him perform.
“That’s all about, in some way, it’s stupid” Nadal said laughing.
“On the other hand for me, I am not doing any of this stuff when I’m practicing or in my normal life.
“But when I am competing in tennis, in our sport we compete a lot of days, it is in some way to make a difference between practice and matches.
“When I am doing all of these routines, I feel 100% focused on what I am doing.
“The routines help to be focused and under self-control to feel more secure.”
Nadal is leading Team Spain in the ATP this week ahead of the Australian Open, and has admitted to being concerned about the tight schedule.
“I am not not used to playing the week before a Grand Slam, but this year is a special year.
“So let’s just see how I manage, how much I will be able to play or not.”
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