The paradise where Nadal finds peace

    Story highlights

    • Rafael Nadal has shunned the chance to leave his island home of Mallorca
    • World number three will miss this month's U.S. Open with knee problems
    • Spaniards admits he has grown to live with his fame despite being shy
    • His uncle and coach Toni backs Rafa to fight back from his latest setbacks

    (CNN)There are not many places where Rafael Nadal can escape.

    As one of the world's most high-profile athletes, his every move is under scrutiny -- especially now after his withdrawal from the London 2012 Olympics and this month's U.S. Open has created widespread speculation about his future as a force in tennis.
    He's one of the most intense men to step foot on a court, and his aggressive, muscular style has contributed to the injuries that have blighted his career in recent years, meaning he has required long periods of recuperation.
      So where does the Spaniard go when he wants to get away from it all and recover from his punishing schedule?
      An island paradise he calls home.
      "What Mallorca gives Rafael is tranquility," the 26-year-old's coach and uncle Toni Nadal told CNN.
      "He feels comfortable here. The Mallorcan character is very familiar, not only our family, but most of the Mallorcan families.
      "Apart from being very familiar, we are people who normally love our homeland. We all feel very comfortable here, no? Therefore, for Rafael it's normal. He's got his friends here, his family, his birthplace, he's always had a good grounding."
      While many sports stars move to glamorous tax havens such as Monaco, Nadal chooses to stay close to his roots -- and the beautiful Balearic island has its attractions.
      From Claudia Schiffer to Boris Becker and even the King of Spain himself, it has played host to the rich and famous for many years.
      Located just off the coast of Spain in the western Mediterranean, about 209 kilometers south of Barcelona and 241 km east of Valencia, Mallorca is the largest of a group of islands including Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera.
      With its idyllic mountains, golden beaches and fertile strips of green, it is little wonder that one of tennis' most successful men has remained in his home city rather than move abroad.
      "It's true that there are many people that when they've traveled, when they've had some success, it's normal for them to change the place they live," said Toni Nadal, who has coached Rafa since he was a small boy.
      "Here in Mallorca it is less normal, because people here feels very attached to our homeland. I think that's the reason why Rafael is still here. First because he loves Mallorca, he loves the sea, he likes being close to the family and his lifelong friends. That's what I think is stopping him from going to other places."
      There's also the fact that the 11-time grand slam champion, who won a record seventh French Open title in June, does not actually enjoy all the publicity he receives.
      "You know, I am shy," Nadal told CNN's Open Court just days after pulling out of t