Santa Monica, CA — This week, the tennis world slides into Paris and the terre battue of Roland Garros, aka, The French Open. And as you know, dear Readers, when I’m not surfing, I am most likely playing Tennis.
Rafael Nadal, a 9-time champion, is heavily favored to win a 10th RG title (and 15th grand slam title overall, passing Pete Sampras) at the ripe old age of 31. Seriously, this is kinda old for men’s professional tennis or at least, it used to be.
The top 5 players are all 30+ (Andy Murray is 30, Novak Djokovic is 30, Stan Wawrinka is 32, Nadal, and the evergreen Roger Federer is 35).
Full Disclosure: The resurgent Nadal is my pick to win not only Roland Garros but also my online pool at Tennis Channel Racket Bracket. My brother Will and I compete against each other for Eternal IntraFamily Glory and also, for a delicious Oreo McFlurry from McDonalds. Nadal, btw, wins millions.
The Spaniard rivals Federer in the Style Department in addition to their tennis: Both prominently represent Nike, a blue chip endorsement in the sports world. Off-court, Nadal has a fashion brand endorsement with men’s clothier Tommy Hilfiger:
GQ Magazine – UK Feature Story
And unlike Federer, Nadal has his very own Tennis Academy in his hometown of Manacor in Mallorca, Spain. I really really want to visit this picturesque island.
Since Federer is skipping Roland Garros and the entire clay court season to rest up and prepare for the Grass Court season and Wimbledon, let’s check out Nadal at The French Open, which is my favorite Grand Slam tournament (Paris, slow red clay, great tennis, French cuisine, and a smaller more intimate stadium that is truly beautiful).
In order to dress like Nadal when he walks onto Court Philippe Chatrier, we’ll need to start a Tab at Tennis Warehouse and get Nadal’s gear. I suspect we’ll be able to qualify for Free Shipping. Here’s the clothing Drop Shot:
- Racket(s): Am thinking we should have at least 6 (one to play with, five to break in frustration). Babolat Play Aero Drive ($349.00/each; $2,094)
- String: You thought those rackets came pre-strung? Think again, Amigo. We’ll need Babolat RPM Blast 15 String at $17.95 each = $107.70
- Shoes: This is clay, a surface that demands sliding, so we’ll need Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5 ($200.00) At Wimbledon, we’ll need new shoes for the grass. FYI.
- Shirt: Gotta get the Nike Rafa Crew ($100.00)
- Shorts: Thankfully, Nadal has stopped wearing those Capri Pants and now favors the Nike Men’s Summer Flex Ace 7 ($85.00)
- Hat: Nadal favors headbands, but sometimes dons a Nike Men’s Summer Rafa Heritage Hat ($28.00)
- Headband: Nike Men’s Summer Head Tie Vivid Purple ($17.00)
- Wrist Bands: Nike Premier Summer Doublewide Blk/GhostGreen ($12.00)
- Socks: On Sale! 3-pak for $13.50 (normally $18.00) Black Nike Dri-Fit Cushion Crew
- Racket Bag: Babolat Pure French Open 12-Pak ($109.95) Twelve rackets seem like overkill at this level. I mean, really!
- Misc. Items like Overgrips and Abrasion Tape will run ya another $20 or so. Nadal gets lots of blisters and his fingers are always taped. Go figure!
Okay, we’re all set. Charge it to MasterCard: $2,767.15. Ay Carumba! Muy expensivo, Amigo. I could probably make do with just one racket which knocks down the cost of my Cart to around $1,100. Damn!
Hey, that’s Tennis in 2017.
Meanwhile, let’s talk some logistics. Now that we’ve decked ourselves out in Nadal’s gear, shouldn’t we spend a few days at his Tennis Academy in Mallorca? Vamos! Airfare on American Airlines from LA to Manacor will run ya $2,000 roundtrip.
At Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy, Adult Weekly Tennis Camp programs run Monday to Sunday. The facility, completed in 2016, looks muy fantastico to me. I’m in. Who’s with me? A weekly package will run us $1,300 US. That actually sounds pretty reasonable to me. Uncle Toni, here I come. Carlos Moya, please have some Sangria on hand. Gracias!
After a week in Mallorca, my tennis partner Ted won’t know what hit him. Worth it!
N E X T U P:
Surf Trips. Television. And a Friend Trains for the 2018 Winter Olympics!