The definitive guide to Rafael Nadal’s 19 bizarre tennis rituals

I keep telling everyone that the boy is quirky. This proves it! But I love him!

For The Win

Rafael Nadal is a fount of quirks, rituals and idiosyncrasies. While they may look like superstitious peculiarities to an outsider, Nadal insists they’re mechanisms to help him focus on tennis. Here’s a definitive list of Nadal’s 19 tennis tics.

1. Walks on court with a single racket in hand.

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2. Crosses lines with his right foot only (and never steps on them if he can avoid it).

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3. When arriving on court, places bag down on bench, turns tournament ID face up.

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4. The picking, of course.

5. Makes opponent and chair umpire wait as he prepares for warmups.

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6. Takes off jacket while jumping.

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And always faces the stands, to give the people what they want.

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7. Hands off the recovery drink to a ballboy for safe refrigeration.

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(They’re still waiting.)

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8. Eats his energy gel, always the same way:

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Rip off top, fold side over, coax gel up with four…

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