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Rafa at Indian Wells 2014
by MAC


Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

Five of us got together to share a house in Palm Desert so we could see Rafa at Indian Wells. We'd come from Texas, North Carolina, Missouri, East Sussex and Oxfordshire, which adds up to quite a few air miles, so it wasn't that great to have him lose halfway through our stay. However, just in case anyone was starting to feel sorry for us, there is always much to be savoured when Rafa is at a tournament. These are just some of our reasons to be thrilled and privileged to have been here.

We got lovely close-up views of Rafa when he unveiled his mural.

Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

OK, we weren't that impressed with the artwork but Rafa was just smiley and gorgeous.

Rafa Nadal
SW828 for Vamos Brigade

There's just an outside chance that he spotted us.

Rafa Nadal
SW828 for Vamos Brigade

We sat in various positions around the court for about 12 hours of practice sessions.

Cool in blue.

Rafa Nadal
SW828 for Vamos Brigade

Hot in orange

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Rafa Nadal
jen for Vamos Brigade

There were assorted hitting partners ranging from top ten players down to juniors.

Chatting to Richard Gasquet.

Rafa Nadal
jen for Vamos Brigade

Making Pablo Andujar sit behind.

Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

Stanislas Wawinka doing the decent thing.

Rafa Nadal
jen for Vamos Brigade

Tommy Robredo taking over shirtless duty.

Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

Tomeu feeling the heat.

Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

Long into the night with Pablo Carreno Busta.

Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

Final warm-up with 17 year old Bernardo Oliveira from Brazil.

Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

We saw plenty of lingering shirt changes. (No worrying about getting it done during a change of ends.)


This gave us a chance to see the very tricky manoeuvres involved in getting the new one on.

Rafa Nadal
SW828 for Vamos Brigade

At one practice he gave us faint hope that he might just hit a few balls while remaining shirtless.

Rafa Nadal
SW828 for Vamos Brigade

We got a glimpse of sleeveless.

Rafa Nadal
MAC for Vamos Brigade

There were lots of smiles like this one.

Rafa Nadal
SW828 for Vamos Brigade

These hours of watching Rafa made all the money and effort we expended worthwhile.

It is impossible to convey the sheer presence of the man. Whether in full flight on the court or just ambling across to practice, everybody's eyes are drawn to him. He is magnificent and, win or lose, he will always have our support.

¡VAMOS, Rafa!