Rafael Nadal’s cousin to make ATP debut despite being ranked 1,890 in the world | Tennis | Sport

Joan Nadal, the cousin of tennis legend Rafael Nadal, is set to take part in qualifying for an ATP 250 tournament in Mallorca after being given a wildcard. It will see the 20-year-old play in a main-level tournament for the first time in his career, having only featured at ITF level so far.

Joan Nadal is ranked 1,890th in the world and has struggled in 2024, having won just three of his 13 competitive matches. However, he will get the chance to rub shoulders with the stars after being given a wildcard for the Mallorca Championships, where his father Toni is the tournament director.

The qualifying event is set to feature several players in the world’s top 100, meaning Joan Nadal could play against one for the first time in his career. However, that would make it very difficult for him to reach the main draw given his inexperience and lowly ranking position.

Last month, he got the chance to test himself against a well-known player as he faced former world No 24 Martin Klizan in qualifying for the ITF Valldoreix event. Klizan, who has recently returned to tennis, eased to a 6-0 6-1 victory before going on to win the tournament as a qualifier.

The younger Nadal collected his first ATP Tour points at the ITF event in Manacor earlier this year. He earned points in both the singles and doubles format at the tournament, which was held at the Rafael Nadal Academy in the Spaniard’s hometown.

He will not be joined by his cousin Rafa in Mallorca, with the 38-year-old set to give himself a break ahead of the Paris Olympics later this year, After his first-round defeat to Alexander Zverev at the French Open last week, he said it would not be a ‘good idea’ to play during the grass season before switching back to clay at the Olympics.

“It looks difficult, honestly,” he said. “I can’t confirm what’s going on, but it looks difficult to make the transition to grass, having the Olympics again on clay. I cannot confirm anything, I have to talk with the team to analyse so many facts, but I don’t think it’s going to be smart.

“After all the things that happened to my body to make a big transition to a completely different surface and then come back immediately to clay, today I feel that’s not a good idea.”

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