The Rafa Nadal Academy Kuwait has officially opened following an exhibition match that saw the Spaniard himself beat former World No.3 David Ferrer in straight sets 6-4 6-3.

The match was witnessed by more than 1,500 spectators inside the new world-class standard open-air stadium as Nadal welcomed the public inside the new highly-anticipated academy.

The academy is the first of its kind to be opened outside of Nadal’s home-town Manacor, and is aiming to become a leading tennis centre for the Middle East whilst also supporting the Kuwait Tennis Federation with their own programme driving the sport.

With eight indoor courts, eight outdoor courts, an open-air stadium and a covered 5,000 seated arena, the academy boats some of the Middle East’s most impressive facilities.

Having spent two days exploring the new academy himself, Nadal said: “It is a project I am excited about and truly motivated by, as this is a region of the world that has potential for us to help grow the culture of tennis.

“We have a great coaching team, the facilities are spectacular and we are working with Tamdeen, who have exceptional staff.

“Although I would love great champions to come from here, the principal and most important thing is that they grow with string values that help them in sport, but also in the future and in the development of their personal and professional life.”

The most decorated player in Kuwaiti Davis Cup history Mohammad Al Ghareeb also had high praise for the academy, saying: “With the arrival of the Rafa Nadal Academy, we will have access to the best coaches and some of the best players in the world; this is a win-win situation for tennis here.”

The Rafa Nadal Academy also holds a five-star hotel with over 300 rooms alongside multiple restaurants, as the academy looks set to bolster the sport of tennis within Kuwait and the region.