18 kids love Rafa. Post worthy no doubt. Had this been about No2e, Nole spam would have started a thread about it.
It's not random kids - it's kids from disadvantaged/troubled social backgrounds helped by a Spanish charity that is supported by Nadal's foundation. So they have a closer link to Nadal than just as a sports star.
On topic, Toni was today in Brazil continuing his South American Babolat tour. Repeated that they hope to resume light practice in 15 days and also said that Nadal's calendar for next year is not yet set and he may play Acapulco and Sao Paolo. Frankly I highly doubt Sao Paolo - why play a 250 in S.America? Acapulco as a 500 might make sense instead of one of IW or Miami as winning Acapuclo is actually worth more points than getting to IW/Miami SF and much easier for Nadal - but even that would be a big decision. My impression is Toni left the door open due to the company he was in - he was in Sao Paolo after all...
Interesting comments from Toni:
- Said that Guga would have had chances to beat Nadal on clay. He can't say who would have won but they were lucky that Guga was leaving as Nadal came on the circuit. (Again given the Brazilian audience this is perhaps not too surprising a comment).
- Said that Rome 2011 was the loss that hurt them the most as Nadal could not hit any winners and it made them rethink (I actually think for Nadal it was Wimbledon - he himself has said he was much happier with Rome than Madrid and felt that in Rome Novak was just better and Nadal himself played better than he had done the previous week, whereas in Madrid Nadal thought he'd played terribly).
- Toni wants to kick Nadal's bottles that he lines up - he hates his tics.
Toni, for as much as the diehard MTF Fed fans hate him, sounds like he'd fit right in with them. Has spent this entire tour praising Federer and saying how Fed & Messi are gifted and the rest cannot reach that level. Said in every aspect Federer is better than Nadal and Nadal knows that - better for a player to aim to try and reach Nadal's level which may be achievable than Federer's which is just impossible. I actually think he believes it too - to constantly praise Federer for 10 years if he didn't seems too much and tough to keep up once Nadal's own results became so impressive. Fair enough for Toni to have his opinion but do think at times he sells his own nephew short. Sure Federer is one of the most talented ever and a level that's pretty unreachable, but Nadal's level is also pretty unreachable for most.