Rafael Nadal's Five Greatest Tics and Routines (Video)
Rafael Nadal is known as one of the best tennis players of all time.
The Spaniard has amassed 11 Grand Slam titles, of which seven are at Roland Garros, making the current World No. 3 the near undisputed GOAT on clay.
However, beyond his topspin-laced forehand and his incredible movement around the court, there is something else that makes Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal.
He has a list of superstitions, which he calls routines—many of them odd—that he does before or during all of his matches.
This slideshow is a rundown of Rafa's five greatest tics.
Honarable Mention: Sock Adjusment
Before every point, Rafael Nadal adjusts his socks so that each are at precisely the same level.
Usually, in the pregame sit-down, Nadal spends over 30 seconds pulling his socks up and down, and between points, he sometimes does it as well.
This is one of the least recognized traits, but still a funny habit to have on a tennis court.
(Note: Go to final slide to find video)
5. Trophy Bite
Instead of giving his trophies the normal kiss, Rafael Nadal gives his a "love bite."
He may have gotten this ritual from the Olympians who bite their medals, but with something as big as a Grand Slam trophy, it has rarely been seen before Nadal came around.
4. Water Bottles
Rafa always has to organize his water bottles very, very carefully.
He makes sure that the brand name of both are facing the court he is about to play on at every change.
Also, Nadal always brings two bottles to the match, one just slightly warmer than the other, and sips from the two of them over the course of his matches.
Nadal is a creature of habit, and his bottle placement is one of the most distinct ones.
For some reason, in this match, Nadal has only one water bottle, but we can see how meticulously he places it.
(Note Watch From 0:19 to 0:24)
3. Knicker Picker
Prior to every point, cameras catch Rafa doing something very odd.
There is not much to say about this one, so just sit back and enjoy the video!
2. Pre-Match Sprint and Jumping
While waiting for the coin toss, Nadal is always bounding from one side to the other, never stopping. Always making sure his legs are moving.
Following the coin toss to determine who serves first, as his opponent walks calmly back to their baseline, the Spaniard bolts from one side to the other quickly.
This may be to get his muscles moving, but it is still odd to see Rafa sprinting as his opponents go slowly.
Definitely a very weird ritual, which Rafa says is very important to his game.
(Note: Watch until 0:20)
1. The Lines
Given that Rafa has been playing for over 20 years, it's a bit strange to consider the following:
Nadal never steps on the lines before or after any point.
After zigging around them for an entire point, Nadal carefully steps over them afterwards.
He also makes sure that his right foot goes over before his left foot, for some unknown reason.
This is probably tennis' greatest ritual from its most superstitious player.
Here is a great video showing all of Nadal's tics, including the sock video that is missing from the first slide.