My Experience as Sponsor for Med WTC at the Rafa Nadal Academy

My Experience as Sponsor for Med WTC at the Rafa Nadal Academy


It was a pleasure to be invited by Miquel Puig as a sponsor for the first Med WTC tournament at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca!  Once invited, this was an event that I could never turn down!  In the same capacity, I was invited to the first Med WTC Tournament in Antalya of which I also wrote about previously here.

The purpose of this trip for me was five-fold:
  1. To support an amazing and unique tournament structure created by Miquel Puig
  2. To make some more player, academy and coach connections for SportsProsConnect
  3. To visit and make some connections within the Rafa Nadal Academy, Mallorca
  4. To meet some of my members in person
  5. To discuss the possibility of more events with the same format at other locations


I believe this trip to have been an overwhelming success of which all of these goals were met with flying colours!  


It started and ended with a long trip from both ends.  Since Mallorca is only a summer destination from Ireland, there were no direct flights to Mallorca so there were multiple flights culminating in an expensive 5 hour layover in Zurich and a fairly rushed stop over in Frankfurt on the way back!  In one of these destinations I had to pay €8.90 for a tube of toothpaste!


Pictured: Coach Frederic Canale, and Under 14 girls Elizaveta Astafjeva and Anastasiia Prokofieva


Eventually I arrived in Mallorca airport to be picked up by Walter, who I happened to be lodging with in our apartment in Porto Cristo.  We waited a short time to pick up Team Mouratoglou (Pictured: Coach Frederic Canale, and Under 14 girls Elizaveta Astafjeva and Anastasiia Prokofieva ).  We then headed straight to the Academy to be met by Miquel, Ramon one of the Tournament referees.  A quick look around the academy, followed by dinner and briefly watching Barcelona lose and it was back to the apartment for sleep and an early start!
Early the next morning I met our third tenant Max Gaggino from Italy.  He was PR Photographer/Film editor and owner of Backstage Tennis.  I suggest that you look him up on Instagram…  Some of his work and stories were nothing short of phenomenal!



We arrived at the Academy at 8am to be greeted by the humidity of Mallorca and wet courts delayed play by 4 hours.  This could not be helped, and is common for this time of year.  This also delayed play slightly on Tuesday and Wednesday, but by then we had come to expect it!  On Thursday a heavy downpour lasted just 30 minutes and delayed play by almost 4 hours.  Other than this, there were no more delays!


Due to the stoppages and rain delays the days were long with matches lasting from 9am to 9pm and even later at times.  The tennis was fantastic.  All matches were hard fought and there were very few easy matches.  Matches were played over 12 different courts and therefore it was very easy to explore the academy, watch some matches and also watch some of the professional players training and sparring.  Some of the big names that were in the Academy at the time we were there include Jan-Lennard Struff, Richard Gasquet and Daniel Rincon.  When we were there, Rafa himself was at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait although believe he left Kuwait and returned to Mallorca on Thursday!


Jan-Lennard Struff


During my time in Mallorca, I was able to spend some quality time with Karim Aouichaoui who was one of the first coaches that we managed to place in a job.  He had travelled with 4 of his U10 juniors from the Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait who were all competing for the very first time in an international tournament.  They were such well coached and charming individuals.  A great deal of credit goes to Karim, the players, and parents.  They all competed very well in the event in which they came 4th of 8 in their category coming up against a very strong Ukrainian team in the Semi finals.


I was also able to meet up with two other clients from the SportsProsConnect platform. Polina Rodeva has been a long time member of the platform and we had a great conversation whilst at the academy.  I was also lucky enough to meet another member Jean-Marc Michel who is resident on the island training his 2 sons, both of whom have junior ITF rankings.  Watch this space for more information on all three of these conversations!


Mark with SPC Gold Member Polina Rodeva


The Results!
I was on my way back home on Friday, so I missed finals day and the prize giving, but I do have details of the final winners and runner ups of each category as listed below:


U14 Boys

  • Champions: Rafa Nadal Academy Mallorca
  • Runner Up: Nomads Team Mallorca

U14 Girls

  • Champions: Mouratoglou Tennis Academy
  • Runner Up: Rocket Team Ukraine

U12 Boys

  • Champions: Rocket Team Ukraine
  • Runner Up: Rafa Nadal Academy Mallorca

U12 Girls

  • Champions: Laucat Mallorca
  • Runner Up: Rocket Team Ukraine

U10 Boys

  • Champions: Nomads Team Mallorca
  • Runner Up: Rocket Team Ukraine

U10 Girls

  • Champions: Next Gen
  • Runner Up: Rocket Team Ukraine
Congratulations to everyone involved!
All in all, I did meet all my objectives and had an extremely successful time at the first Med World Tennis Cup to be held in the Rafa Nadal Academy, Mallorca!


Next Med WTC Events:
Please do watch out for information on the next few events including Dubai in February 2024 and Antalya in March 2024.  Below is more detail on the next tournaments to be held under the umbrella of the Med World Tennis Cup.
SPC Member Discounts:
We have arranged a €100 discount for SPC members to attend any of these Med WTC events! To find out more, please get in touch with me: +353 86 792 2188, or sign up here. 




December 19, 2023 Categories: Interviews