When did Nadal start the face touching routine

Open Stance

Semi-Pro
His touching his face is the least of our concerns
Yeah, that's not what stands out to me either.

Also, when did he start with the water bottles? I think it would be pretty entertaining to see an opponent "accidentally" knock them over sometime during a changeover. Maybe that has happened at some point.
 

Goof

Semi-Pro
Yeah, that's not what stands out to me either.

Also, when did he start with the water bottles? I think it would be pretty entertaining to see an opponent "accidentally" knock them over sometime during a changeover. Maybe that has happened at some point.
Lukas Rosol did that in their Wimbledon rematch. Rafa didn't even realize he had done it.
 

topher

Hall of Fame
I wasn't following as closely back then, but I believe between 2004-2006 Rafa added more spin/margin to his shots also his elaborate routines in order to give him stability and focus in his game. I wish he took ~10 seconds less, but routine is a good idea.

Yeah, that's not what stands out to me either.

Also, when did he start with the water bottles? I think it would be pretty entertaining to see an opponent "accidentally" knock them over sometime during a changeover. Maybe that has happened at some point.
Players have done this several times. Rafa usually laughs, I'm not sure if he did when Rosol did it though, but he and Rosol were already upset with each other so it wasn't seen as playful.
 

Open Stance

Semi-Pro
Lukas Rosol did that in their Wimbledon rematch. Rafa didn't even realize he had done it.
Ah, here it is....pretty subtle.


Here's another time when one of the bottles tipped over and the ballboy ran in front of him just prior to serving to fix. Rafa had a good laugh about it and for the record did not ask him to fix it.

 

ibbi

Legend
It developed over time. I think it began about 2007 and was perfected by 2009. When he reached new heights, basically :-D Can you blame him for still doing it 15 years later?:X3:
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
I imagine the pandemic was in one sense, at least, a bit of a relief for his opponents, as they could tap racquets instead of shake hands after a match.
 

Rosstour

Legend
I don't buy "OCD" for a second. It's a gamesmanship tactic like everything else he does on the court and in the locker room.
 
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