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Greece tennis resort hopes to develop the next generation of champions

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By Euronews
Spain's Rafael Nadal during a tennis training session at the La Cartuja stadium, in Seville, Spain, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011
Spain's Rafael Nadal during a tennis training session at the La Cartuja stadium, in Seville, Spain, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011   -   Copyright  Miguel Angel Morenatti/AP2011   -  

The Rafa Nadal Tennis Center at the Sani Resort in Chalkidiki, northern Greece, is hoping to inspire the next generation of superstars. 

Opened in 2019, it's the first and only Rafa Nadal Tennis Center in Europe. It aims to provide players with the same world-class training methods that helped twenty-two time Grand Slam champion rise to the top of the sport. 

"I’ve been with the kids today and I see how the atmosphere is here. I think it’s great for the kids, great for tennis and the more we have, the more biggest chance there is of having more professional tennis players," Nadal's head coach, Carlos Moyá, told Euronews.

Moyá, himself a former world No.1 and Roland Garros champion, knows all there is to know about nurturing talent. He says that getting the best out of your players requires much more than just coaching.

"You have to be brother sometimes, you have to be a friend, some other times you need to be hard on him and you need to push in order to get his 100%."

Academies such as this are cropping up all across the world. According to recent figures from the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the number of tennis clubs globally has almost doubled since 2019. 

So, will we be seeing more Rafa Nadals in the future?

"It’s hard to get new Nadals, I think it’s once in a lifetime... But of course having this kind of facilities in such a beautiful place like the Sani Resort, to have the Rafa Nadal Tennis Center here, it’s amazing," said Moyá.