Rafael Nadal straightens his water bottles at every single change of ends.
Rafael Nadal straightens his water bottles at every single change of ends.

Water hijinks make Rafa lose his cool

RAFAEL Nadal is infamous for his obsessive compulsive nature on the tennis court, from the hair flick and the tugging of his underpants before he serves to his water bottle placement.

And did the last one ever irritate him in New York on Tuesday while he was battling Marin Cilic.

The Spaniard was caught getting angry, presumably at a ballperson after a third water bottle was placed in his area while he was battling a determined Cilic.

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Nadal, who likes things just so with two bottles, labels facing the court, was outraged at the manoeuvre when he got to his chair.

The Spaniard gesticulated wildly, giving the third bottle back and then pointing at the clearly optimum two water bottles for effect.

The reaction was nothing if not over the top as the ballperson who messed with the bull clearly got the horns - as Nadal seemed to say 'surely you know it's two bottles only'.


We can only imagine what Rafa would have thought of friend and longtime rival Roger Federer's breezy reaction to his own water bottle dramas earlier in the week at Flushing Meadows.

In round one as he was battling with Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal, the 38-year-old Federer couldn't get a handle, not only on his game but also on his drinks.

In a scenario that would surely be Rafa's nightmare, Federer lost his grip on his bottles and reached under his seat for them with his racquet before a ballboy came to his rescue.

This would surely never happen to the Spaniard whose list of time-consuming routines are unbelievable and enough to probably drive Nick Kyrgios completely crazy.

RAFA'S RITUALS

He must have a cold shower 45 minutes before a match.

He must carry one racquet on to the court.

He must have wrapped his own white grip on his racquets in the locker room.

His bag must be placed next to his chair, on a towel, never on the chair.

He must towel down between every point. It can be ace or double fault - he must towel down as if he is covered in sweat.

He must pick at his underpants.

He must drink from two water bottles at changeovers. One bottle has cold water, one is warm.

He must face the labels of his drink bottles to the end he is about to play from.

He must never rise from his seat before his opponent.

He must never walk on the sidelines as if he is avoiding cracks in the pavement.