Rafa Nadal / AFP

Duke Rafa? Fans ask that Nadal should be named a Grandee of Spain

It would be the first noble title granted during the reign of Felipe VI

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS

Jerez-born Ramón Romero and his friend from Seville, Enrique Tapias, have launched a petition for Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal to be named a Grandee of Spain, the highest distinction of nobility after infante, or prince. The title is usually only be awarded to the children and grandchildren of kings but Nadal’s fans argue his sporting achievements qualify him for the title ‘the Duke of Manacor’.

The initiative has managed to obtain some support and Romero hopes that the Andalusian and Spanish Tennis Federations will lend their official support given Nadal’s record of achievement.

Nadal recently won the Australian Open after trailing two sets to Russian Daniil Medvedev, as well as overcoming a Covid-19 infection and a foot injury. Romero and Tapias say the tennis legend has shown an exemplary example and should receive the highest honours the Casa Real can bestow.

If granted, this would be the first title granted by King Felipe VI who came to the throne in June 2014. Being a Grandee of Spain is usually associated with the title of Duke, since it is the highest ranking after prince, although it can also be granted by itself without noble associations. Romero thinks Nadal should earn his title connected to the Duchy of Manacor, the tennis player's city of origin.