Net Gains: Rafa's Real dilemma is which Spanish football team to support

Rafael Nadal is rarely in two minds about anything but today the Spaniard will have divided loyalties.

The world No 1 is a shareholder in his local football club, Real Mallorca, where his uncle is the assistant manager. Today, however, the island side travel to play Real Madrid, the other football love of his life.

"For sure family comes first," Nadal said when asked about which team he might be supporting. "If my uncle was not there, it would depend. If Real Madrid were playing to win the League, I would want Real Madrid to win. If Mallorca were playing to stay in the First Division, and Real Madrid did not have much to play for, I would want Mallorca to win."

The Wimbledon champion's uncle, Miguel Angel Nadal, who used to play for Barcelona, joined Mallorca as assistant to Michael Laudrup last year and has helped to turn the team's fortunes around. Going into this weekend's programme Mallorca were ninth in the table.

"Mallorca are having a great season," Nadal said. "For us the main goal is to keep in the First Division, so we are in a really good way. I think the coaches are doing a great job. The situation of the club one year ago wasn't ideal, so there were a lot of changes. It wasn't easy for the players or anybody else, so the situation is better than we could have dreamed of."

Nadal, a decent footballer himself, is unable to attend many Mallorca matches, but tries to watch them on TV. Today might be tricky: when Mallorca and Madrid kick off this evening it will be 4am here in Melbourne.

Nadal win offers genuine relief

A bet of A$2.5m (about £1.55m), which is believed to be the biggest wager in Australian history, yielded the winning punter a profit of just A$25,000 last week.

The gambler, whose identity was not revealed, backed Nadal at 100-1 on to beat Ryan Sweeting in the second round. After the Spaniard obliged, the punter donated his winnings to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal.

Had he tried to back Nadal to beat Marcos Daniel on Betfair in the previous round, he would have been disappointed: there was not one gambler on the betting exchange anywhere in the world willing to bet against the world No 1.

Roddick wife's love triangle

Andy Roddick's wife, the model Brooklyn Decker, is about to make her debut on the silver screen. Just Go With It, also starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, is due to be released next month. "She's in some sort of love triangle, she had to make out with one of them," Roddick said. He added: "We're excited about it – not the making out with Sandler part."

Baltacha is in with the Big Yin

Anne Keothavong was excited to meet the England cricketers Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan but Elena Baltacha, her successor as British No 1, was thrilled to be introduced to a man she described as "my hero". The comedian Billy Connolly spent several minutes chatting to his fellow Scot.

A wind-up... at the double

Leander Paes is one of the world's best doubles players, but the 37-year-old from Calcutta is also a master at winding up opponents.

Paes and his partner, Mahesh Bhupathi, so upset Feliciano Lopez and Juan Monaco yesterday that there was a stand-off at the end.

Lopez, who refused to shake hands with Paes, said: "He was trying to provoke us all the time. It's the style he's been using for 20 years."

One tactic by the Indians, who won in straight sets, was frequent use of the Spanish word "vamos" ("let's go"). Bhupathi said: "I don't think they have a patent on that one."

p.newman@independent.co.uk

VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
film
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal