Tireless Rafael Nadal launches uni course, receives an award, explains why tennis is ‘a sport for losers’

Rafael Nadal talking to the media

Rafael Nadal is due to take part in the Laver Cup this week but he had to complete a few assignments in his native Spain before flying to London.

On Tuesday the 22-time Grand Slam winner launched a new course at the Universidad Alfonso X Rafa Nadal Sports University before receiving an award from the King of Spain later in the day.

Back in April Nadal partnered with the Alfonso X el Sabio University (UAX) to form the UAX Rafa Nadal Sports University in Madrid and the aim is to train and create more professionals in the sports industry with the focus on health, sport and business.

He was a keynote speaker during the inauguration and explained the major reasons for his success.

“A significant daily effort is necessary, success is not understood without a great effort behind it,” he is quoted as saying by AS.com.

“I have tried to carry this principle throughout my career: wake up every day wanting to improve and learn, and not lose the motivation to be better.”

He added: “If you want to learn, you must have the support of colleagues, professionals and the best possible team. If you surround yourself with the right people and work hard on a daily basis, your goals will be easier to achieve.”

Nadal has won a lot during his career as he has 94 singles titles to his name – including a record 22 Grand Slams – while he has an 83% winning record with a win-loss ratio of 1066–214.

But the tennis great says the sport is “for losers”.

“Tennis is a sport for losers, we lose every week. Every tournament we compete in only one wins, the rest of us lose,” he said.

“You have to manage it naturally, defeat and success are part of everyday life in general. That’s why defeat is never that dramatic and victory is never incredible. When things go well, one should not believe that he is Superman, and when things go wrong, he should not believe that he is the worst in the world.”

Not long after he collected the Camino Real award for strengthening the positive image of Spain in the United States. The ceremony took place at the Alcala de Henares University near Madrid and Spain’s King Felipe handed him the trophy.

Although the 36-year-old has had several injury problems over the past year, he is determined to continue playing.

“The intention is to continue to carry the name of Spain around the world while I am still active and competing,” he said.

The former world No 1 missed several weeks due to a rib injury, he then took time off after the French Open to nurse his chronic foot problem before suffering an abdominal injury at Wimbledon.

However, he returned to action at the US Open where he lost in the fourth round against Frances Tiafoe.

He will return to action this weekend as he will team up with the retiring Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at the Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal salutes his ‘friend and rival’ Roger Federer