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Rafa Nadal: ‘I want to be the best in history, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it’

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Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal has been making the most of his time in Mallorca before he flies out to compete at the French Open, which he has won 13 times. And in Mallorca, where he was born, things are done differently. At the 15-day competition in the Roland Garros stadium, Nadal will chug down water and isotonic drinks as he tries to take home his 14th title. But on the Balearic island, he has been using this downtime to go fishing and play golf with his friends and uncles: Toni Nadal, his former trainer and Miguel Ángel Nadal, a former soccer player for Barcelona, who was also selected to play for Spain’s national team. Rafa Nadal – as he is popularly known – has surrounded himself with family, while he drinks non-alcoholic beer.

 

 

 

Indeed the tennis champion has been taking part in an international advertising campaign for Amstel’s alcohol-free product, for which he is a brand ambassador. Between drinking non-alcoholic beer and eating olives and cockles – “everyone should do what they like,” Nadal joked – he spared 15 minutes last week to talk to EL PAÍS about his future goals and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

 

“We are in a very difficult time, with people who have suffered from personal loss, who have lost their job,” he told EL PAÍS. “We need to share happy moments with the people we love and we are moving towards this with the vaccination drive after a time of great but totally justified restrictions.” He added: “I trust that soon we will be able to share happy moments with others, which is what we value most, more than material things.”

 

 

 

If Nadal wins this year’s French Open, he will become the male tennis player with more Grand Slam titles in history. He currently holds 20, the same number as Roger Federer, but a win at the French Open would put him in the lead. A Grand Slam refers to a win at one of the top four tennis competitions – the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Reaching this goal will be a feat he will remember for many years after he retires from the sport.

 

 

 

Although Nadal has made no decision on when he will retire, it’s something he says he has been thinking about. “I have things to keep me busy, several personal projects in different areas,” he said. “My life is heading toward this moment. I am a person who is bothered most by having nothing to do, so I have been planning this for some time.”

 

 

 

“Getting my strength back! Tomorrow Rome!”

Among his personal projects is his school, the Rafa Nadal Sports Center, which will play a key role in his future. Nadal also spends time working on the Rafa Nadal Foundation, which helps 6,100 children in 23 centers in Spain and India, and is aimed at building social integration through sport. “Both are key to my plans,” he said.

 

 

 

But Nadal will be fighting to win more titles until the day he retires. During his matches, his wife, Mery Pelló and his parents, Sebastián Nadal and Ana María Parera, are often cheering him on from the stands. Nadal’s sister María Isabel Nadal, his friends Carlos Costa and Carlos Moya and his uncles are also keen supporters.

 

 

As for his plans for parenthood – his rival Roger Federer has a considerable advantage with four children already – Nadal said it’s not just up to him, but also his wife Perelló, whom he married in 2019. “I have never hidden the fact that I’m a family person and I trust the day [for children] will come,” he explained.

 

 

 

But the more immediate goal for Nadal is the French Open and the opportunity to become one of the best tennis players of all time. It’s a challenge he approaches with a pragmatic attitude: “If it happens. I will enjoy it but suffer. That’s how I understand it, I experience it this way.”

 

 

 

“I have never hidden the fact that I would like to retire as the best in history and as the player with the most Grand Slams,” he added. “But I’m not going to lose sleep over it. It’s not that I don’t want to put pressure on myself, I say what I feel, I would love to end my career this way. Of course, it’s a goal for me, but I’m not obsessed with it. My principal goal is to be happy with what I do. I have not taken 13 titles in Paris or won 20 Grand Slam titles without being ambitious. Ambition is good, but you have to be healthy and not excessive. In every case, I set out the objectives. If I meet them, great, but if not, I am not going to get frustrated or stop enjoying being happy. I have a very calm life now, calmer even than in earlier years.”

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Queen ‘disappointed’ with Meghan Markle, Harry over christening move

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Queen Elizabeth is reportedly ‘disappointed’ over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s move to christen Lilibet within the US and a former butler believes she’ll be heartbroken to miss such a special event.

Some former staffers even fear she’ll be utterly heartbroken if she is not able to participate in the grand event.

The Firm’s former royal butler Grant Harrold made this claim during his interview with Express.

There he speculated upon the possible plan of action Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may take regarding the christening, for the Queen, and claimed, “I am sure if this does not take place in the UK, the Queen will be disappointed to not attend the christening of her great-granddaughter.”

He also went on to add, “However, as with many families who have family overseas, sometimes it is not possible.”

“Maybe their christening will be recorded so the family in the UK can watch as well? Family is very important to the Queen and I am sure before too long she will meet her great-granddaughter.”

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31 photos that prove Prince William and Kate Middleton are trying to change their public image

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As the future king and queen consort of England, the Cambridges will always have a different set of rules and expectations than Harry and Markle ever did as senior royals. But Eric Schiffer, an expert on celebrity brand management, told Insider that when it came to the couple’s public-relations strategy, Middleton and William took “little risk” before Markle and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

“They were manicured to the nth degree,” he said, “and played their public persona with a Buckingham Palace excellence, out of the playbook that’s been mastered for centuries.”

Before the pandemic, William and Middleton almost never posted videos on their official Instagram page. If they did, it was usually a slideshow of photos or a clip played over one of the prince’s formal speeches.

The Cambridges also rarely showed affection toward each other in public, believed to be in line with royal etiquette.

But Markle and Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah hurt the royal family’s reputation.

Harry Meghan interview 2
Harry and Markle during their interview with Oprah. CBS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped several bombshells during the two-hour interview. Markle said Middleton had made her cry over a flower-girl dress (not the other way around, as some publications had reported), while Harry said he and William were “on different paths.”

Markle and Harry also said that they received no support from the royal family when Markle began experiencing suicidal thoughts and that some royals had “concerns” about their son’s skin color.

Schiffer told Insider that the interview released a “giant smoke bomb” that affected the royal family’s reputation while boosting Markle and Harry’s global image, helping them connect “with people’s humanity and their own struggles.”

“It created this contrast, and Harry and Meghan’s PR strategy, in essence, is to be the unanointed modern-day royals of the populace,” he said. “This is a populist strategy.”

Days after the Oprah interview, William and Middleton shared personal family photos on their official Instagram page.

Kate Middleton Prince William Mother's Day Cake
A cake that Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis made for Mother’s Day in the UK. DukeandDuchessofCambridge/Instagram
On March 14, Mother’s Day in the UK, the couple posted pictures of cards and a cake they said their children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — had made to remember Princess Diana.

“For those experiencing bereavement, today may be particularly challenging,” one of the captions said. “Each year on Mother’s Day, George, Charlotte and Louis make cards remembering their Granny, Diana, for William.”

That week, Middleton visited children at a school in London that had reopened after the UK eased lockdown restrictions.

Kate Middleton
Middleton interacts with a child during a visit to School21 on March 11. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Clare McHugh, a royal historian, told Insider that Middleton and William’s swift new PR strategy was one that the royal family has used since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took the throne in the 1840s.

“That was a revolutionary moment in Europe when all sorts of monarchies were being overturned,” McHugh said. “They had to find a way to make the monarchy seem more appealing so that it would stick around.

“So they fought back by showing, oh, no, the monarchy is just like you,” she added. “They showcased their children much more than any monarch had done before.”

Weeks before their 10th anniversary, the Cambridges returned to Westminster Abbey, which had been turned into a coronavirus vaccination center.

Middleton appeared to pay tribute to the church’s history by sporting a white knee-length coat. The couple also walked down the same aisle that they walked down on their wedding day.

On April 27, Middleton and William played with children and animals at a farm in Durham, England.

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‘Been warned’ Meghan and Harry keeping away from UK after PR disaster, says Lady C

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MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have been “warned off” returning to England after “a lot of bad publicity” following their interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March, claims Lady Colin Campbell.

Meghan Markle, 40, has not been back to the UK since moving permanently to the United States last year with her husband Prince Harry, 37, and their young son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, two. Since their transatlantic relocation, the couple have given a number of interviews to the media, including a tell-all sit down with Oprah Winfrey at the beginning of the year, which left critics divided over their comments on the Royal Family.

The Sussexes had claimed they felt racial prejudice from an unnamed member of the Royal Family after the birth of their son Archie.

They alleged the senior royal questioned “how dark” Archie would be in tandem with talks over whether the baby should receive a prince title.

Since then Prince Harry has flown back to the UK just twice, once to attend the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip and also to attend the unveiling of a statue in his late mother, Princess Diana’s honour.

On both occasions, the duke has been unaccompanied by his wife, Archie, or newborn daughter Lilibet.

Many have questioned if the Sussexes will ever visit the UK as a family ever again, and now Lady Colin Campbell has claimed the “bad publicity” from some sections of media is preventing their return.

In her latest YouTube video, Lady Colin said: “They know they are going to be subjected to a lot of bad publicity, and they have been warned.

“I am reliably informed that the bad publicity they are getting is affecting their brand. So really they have been warned off coming to England.”

Her comments come as Prince Harry confirmed he would not be attending an event to celebrate his mother’s statue unveiling.

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