Perhaps strangely for a rich celebrity, Rafael Nadal doesn’t have any major, well-publicized relationship turmoil weighing him down. Still, this relatively squeaky-clean personal life hasn’t saved him from the destructiveness of a divorce scandal — it just wasn’t his own divorce.
As Elle reports, Nadal is fond of saying that good health and family are the two things that are most important to him. In 2009, the 23-year-old Nadal was still so dependent on his family and their routines that when they weren’t around, he even slept with his lights and TV on … and then, he found out that his parents were getting a divorce. With his parents separating, Nadal’s safety net was suddenly taken away, and tabloids all over Europe were loving every minute of the athlete’s family falling apart.
Nadal describes in his autobiography how the experience “destroyed” him, his emotional turmoil eating away at his physical condition. He became depressed, cold, and distant. His state of mind started affecting his game, and his knee injuries flared up. As a result, he started losing to supposedly easy opponents and was unable to defend his title at Wimbledon. It took him almost a year to rebuild his composure and win another title.