Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Rafael Nadal 'at home' on the sea ahead of Monte-Carlo challenge

April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
Rafael Nadal geared up for this week's ATP Monte-Carlo Masters by sailing around the Monte-Carlo harbor on board the Tuiga. Rafael Nadal geared up for this week's ATP Monte-Carlo Masters by sailing around the Monte-Carlo harbor on board the Tuiga.
Sailing away
Nadal on deck
'Home away from home'
Harboring big ambition
  • Rafael Nadal helps sail the Tuiga around the Monte-Carlo harbor
  • Tennis star is in Monaco for the ATP Monte-Carlo Masters
  • The Spaniard is looking to reclaim the title after losing out to Novak Djokovic last year
  • World No. 2 Djokovic wins his opening match in straight sets on Tuesday

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.

The "King of Clay" has racked up countless titles on his favored surface, but hailing from the island of Majorca, the Balearic Sea has also been the scene for much personal enjoyment.

There was no better way, then, for Nadal to gear up for this week's ATP Monte-Carlo Masters than to sail around Monaco's harbor while being treated to spectacular views of the Cote d'Azur coastline.

The world No. 1 -- who is looking to reclaim his title in the Principality after Novak Djokovic ended his eight-year reign in 2013 -- jumped on board the Tuiga, manning the rudder and learning the ropes of how to sail the Yacht Club de Monaco's flagship.

"It was a wonderful way to enjoy an afternoon," Nadal told the ATP World Tour's official website. "It was a special experience for me. I am from an island, so the sea, the sails and everything involved means a lot to me."

French tennis flying high
Wawrinka's first grand slam victory
Big names celebrate World Tennis Day

Nadal, who will also be looking to avenge last month's Miami Masters final defeat to Djokovic, still lives in the Majorcan town of Manacor where he was born.

But while the 27-year-old is more likely to be found on a motor boat than a sailing ship in the waters outside his house, his experience in Monte Carlo has left a lasting impression on him.

"I spend a lot of time on the sea when I'm at home, especially in the summer. I live in front of the sea and the port is three minutes from my home," he said.

"I don't go sailing very often. I go more often on a motor boat. I don't have much time at the moment for sailing, maybe in the future.

"The way that the crew are working together to make the boat perfect and go faster is amazing. Everybody works for one goal. It's a special thing."

Nadal is due to open his bid for a ninth Monte-Carlo Masters title Wednesday and he will be hoping to add to this season's previous wins at the Qatar Open and Rio Open.

Djokovic, meanwhile, started the defense of his crown Tuesday with a straight-sets win over Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes, winning 6-1 6-0 in the second-round match after receiving an opening bye.

The world No. 2 comes into the tournament on a 10-match winning streak, having won back-to-back Masters titles at the U.S. hard-court events in Indian Wells and Miami.

He is aiming to become only the fifth player to successfully defend his title in Monte-Carlo, following Bjorn Borg, Thomas Muster, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Nadal.

French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also won his second-round match, beating Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 1-6 6-4.

Tsonga's compatriot Gilles Simon crashed out, losing his first-round tie 4-6 6-4 6-4 to Russian qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili.

Another Frenchman to taste defeat on Tuesday was Jeremy Chardy. The world No. 48 was comfortably beaten 6-3 6-0 by sixth seed David Ferrer.

Tomas Berdych is another seed safely through after the no. 5 battled from a break down in both sets to defeat Russia's Dmitry Tursunov 7-5 6-4 in one hour and 40 minutes.

The Czech has reached at least the semifinals in four of his six tournaments in 2014.

Read: Djokovic claims fourth Miami Masters title

Read: Federer puts Switzerland in semifinals

Read: Williams wins record seventh Miami title

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.