Feb 18, 2008

What do tennis players do off court?

World number two Rafael Nadal is only 21, at the top of his career, but he is already thinking of his future beyond tennis and is convinced his privileged position gives him the chance to help others.

"This can be the beginning of my future, when I retire and have more time," the Spaniard said Wednesday as he launched the Rafa Nadal Foundation in his native town, Manacor, on the island of Mallorca.

The foundation will seek to promote "sport as an integration tool for those groups in most need," focusing particularly on childhood and youth.

Ana Maria Parera, Nadal's mother, will chair the foundation, and his father Sebastian will be vice-chairman. Nadal's uncle and coach Toni Nadal and his agent, former tenn
is player Carlos Costa, will also be involved.

Nadal is not the first sportsman to set up a foundation. One of the most famous in te
nnis is that set up by Swiss world number one Roger Federer, which focuses on Africa - the continent that Federer's mother hails from.

"I have talked a lot about this with Roger, and he tells me that when you are there it is something that fills you with satisfaction. And I think the time has come, it is a beautiful time for my life and for my career," Nadal said.

And speaking about Roger Federer, if is is not playing on court, he'll be busy collecting awards. And he just received his fourth consecutive Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award.

While Nadal launched his foundation and Federer collecting awards and spending time with girlfriend Mirka, players like Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga were celebrating their Davis Cup victory by getting down with some go-go girls. The Frenchmen certainly know how to have fun!

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