Statue in honour of Rafa unveiled at RG

The 13-time Roland-Garros champion took part in a ceremony on Thursday where the sculpture was revealed for the first time

Rafael Nadal unveils his statue at Roland-Garros 2021©Christophe Guibbaud/FFT

This year, Roland-Garros wanted to pay tribute to the player responsible for an entire, and perhaps the most illustrious, page in its history books.

Today, a statue of Rafael Nadal was unveiled. The Spanish player himself was present for the occasion, as well as FFT President, Gilles Moretton and the sculptor of the statue, Jordi Diez Fernandez.

The statue stands next to the new “general public” entrance gate and the Jardin des Mousquetaires.

Rafael Nadal, Jordi Diez, Gilles Moretton and Guy Forget unveiling Nadal's statue©Christophe Guibbaud/FFT

The statue’s big reveal was part of the same ceremony as the official unveiling of the statue of aviator Roland Garros, as well as those honouring tennis’ Four Musketeers: Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste.

The task of creating the colossal statue fell to Spanish sculptor, Jordi Díez Fernandez. It captures the champion in the midst of one of his signature strokes.

The statue is constructed entirely of steel and stands 3 metres tall, 4.89 metres wide and 2 metres deep. It pays tribute to the Mallorcan player who has never failed to astound on the Paris clay ever since 2005: the year he made his tournament debut and clinched his very first of 13 men’s Roland-Garros titles.

Rafael Nadal's statue in the blue sky© Christophe Guibbaud/FFT

Artist Jordi Díez Fernandez is regarded as one of Spain’s best sculptors. His mastery of figurative expression, particularly in the human face, is one of the defining features of his work.

Having previously experimented with several materials such as stone, iron, wood and even clay, Díez Fernandez has dedicated the last decade to working exclusively in stainless steel, a material that offers him infinite possibilities.