Nadal’s £241,000 watch stolen while he was winning title


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A Richard Mille watch (Nadal's actual stolen watch not pictured)

When Rafael Nadal stormed to the French Open crown on Monday, he should have been enjoying one of the sweetest days of his life. Not only had he just won a record seventh title at Roland Garros, but in doing so he also ended a run of three consecutive Grand Slam final defeats at the hands of arch-rival Novak Djokovic.

Yet even for megastars, life has a way of kicking you in the teeth when you least expect it: while the Mallorcan was finishing off his rain-delayed match, a thief was busy in his hotel room stealing his watch.

A watch, furthermore, that was worth an incredible £241,000 - that is £14,000 more than the average house costs in the UK.

The one-off Richard Mille timepiece (similar to the one pictured above) had been lent to Nadal for the duration of the tournament - presumably so that the 11-times Grand Slam champ could give the firm a bit of free publicity.

Nadal left it in his luxury hotel in Paris's swanky eighth arondissement, where the temptation proved too much.

The tennis player's parents discovered the theft on Tuesday, and with no sign of a forced entry police quickly decided it was an inside job. That hunch proved correct, with magnetic key card records leading them to a light-fingered barman. Under questioning the culprit cracked and led detectives to the spot beside a railway track where he'd hidden it.

No harm done, then - and the 26-year-old insists he won't start staying elsewhere.

"The French police did a good job," Nadal said.

"I have nothing (no grudge) to hold against the hotel. They have always treated me well when I have stayed there over the past eight years and I will come back next year."

Had the watch remained stolen, it wouldn't have hit Nadal too hard in the pocket - he won a cool £1.03 million for claiming the French.

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