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Tennis fans tuning into Rafael Nadal's latest match at SW19 were left bemused by the Spanish star's painstaking on-court rituals, which include obsessively touching his body and hair multiple times - and adjusting his shorts - ahead of every serve. 

The world number four, who yesterday saw off Dutch player Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets on Centre Court, has famously relied on the same ritual throughout his 20-year career - but observers watching his latest matches have questioned whether the athlete has recently added even more touches to his regime.


With two grand slams in the bag already this year, and the Wimbledon title potentially just a few matches away, it's unlikely Nadal, who's now 36, is going to stop his superstitious touches anytime soon.

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A ritual that's working! World number 4 Rafael Nadal has been performing a series of meticulous habits ahead of points on court at Wimbledon - leaving some fans distracted

The 36-year-old star has followed an on-court ritual throughout his 20-year tennis career, but some fans watching him at Wimbledon have questioned whether his regime has become even more complicated

Left shoulder: after adjusting his shorts, the Spanish tennis star then turns his attention to his upper body

Ahead of his serve, he'll touch both shoulders...and then move on to his face

After tucking his hair behind his left ear, Nadal then tweaks his nose

Since the tournament began last Monday, legions of fans watching Nadal's matches have picked up on the star's quirky approach, with some even expressing concern that the tennis player may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The routine ahead of a serve follows a pattern that includes adjusting his shorts at the front and back, touching his left shoulder, then right shoulder, before tucking his hair behind his ears and tweaking his nose and touching his cheeks. 

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A final wipe of the forehead with his forearm appears to signal he's ready to serve. 

On second serves, Nadal will drop the touching of the shoulders. 

MailOnline has contacted Nadal's agent for comment.  

@ambrose_mensch wrote: 'How did I not notice until now Nadal’s OCD-ish pre-serve ritual with the shirt collar pull, hair and headband tweak, and face wipe thing?'  

@GoldCascade added: 'He seems to have got worse.....Haven't seen this but I guess he still does the ritual of lining up the bottles under his chair.'

There's then another tucking of hair behind his right ear...before he wipes his forehead and finally begins his serve

@CanIjustsayy__said: 'Has Rafa Nadal ever publicly spoken about having OCD? Just watching Wimbledon and noticed he carries out the same shirt-tug, nose, ear, nose, ear ritual before each serve. He looks really stressed. I hope he's okay and not struggling with anything.'

It's not just a pre-serve ritual that the tennis master is known to follow, his attention to a set regime apparently begins as soon as he steps on court. 

The star will often remove his jacket facing the crowd, jumping as he does so, and carefully line two Evian bottles alongside one another, ensuring the labels are always facing the court.

Yesterday saw star overcome Dutch player Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets to reach the competition's quarter finals - where he'll face Taylor Fritz

Ahead of the tournament, Nadal announced he's set to become a father later this year, telling reporters that his wife Mery Perello is expecting their first child. The couple dated for 14 years before they tied the knot at a British-owned fortress in Majorca in 2019

The tennis champ's late career flourish has seen him win the French Open and Australian Open this year, with the possibility of a third Slam at Wimbledon this week, which would take him to 23 major titles.  

He'll play Taylor Fritz next – the American 11th seed who beat Nadal in the final at Indian Wells earlier this season but remains confident of reaching the semi-finals: 

‘The positive thing is the first two matches haven't been good and then two games at a high level,’ he said. 

‘The improvement is there and I'm happy to be back in the quarter-finals after three years without playing here.

‘It is going to be a tough quarter-final. But at the same time we are in quarter-finals, so you can't expect an easy opponent out there'.

Ahead of the tournament, Nadal announced he's set to become a father later this year, telling reporters that his wife Mery Perello is expecting their first child.

The tennis ace confirmed the news at a press conference in Mallorca following rumours that she was pregnant, saying: 'If all goes well, I'm going to be a father.'

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California News | Marin school campus will be shelter for unaccompanied migrant youths

St. Vincent’s School for Boys in San Rafael will soon become a center to temporarily shelter unaccompanied migrant boys.

The transition is occurring as the number of undocumented migrants entering the U.S. continues to grow, as well as the portion of the migrants who are unaccompanied minors.

St. Vincent’s School for Boys was founded as an orphanage in 1853 following a cholera epidemic. It is one of the oldest institutions west of the Mississippi River dedicated exclusively to the care of traumatized boys.

Until recently, it was licensed by the state to operate a 52-bed short-term residential therapeutic program serving up to 60 youths a year age 7 to 18. The boys were referred from in-patient psychiatric centers and county agencies throughout Northern California.

Ellen Hammerle, chief executive of Catholic Charities San Francisco, said her nonprofit was forced to make a change after the state decided to convert short-term residential therapeutic programs into institutes for mental disease.

“With an institute for mental disease you’re not eligible for Medi-Cal dollars,” Hammerle said. “It’s more private pay. It changes our clientele. We just didn’t feel it met our mission to do that, and it was not financially viable to be honest. It’s very upsetting.”

As a result, Catholic Charities began to assess how it might reconfigure the program.

“As part of our research, we discovered that the Office of Refugee Resettlement was looking into expansion of their shelter program,” Hammerle said. “We applied and we were awarded funding.”

Hammerle said the boys St. Vincent’s will be working with will be similar to the youths the center is serving now.

“Kids who have experienced one type or trauma or another,” Hammerle said. “We felt like we know that population, we know how to serve them.”

About two dozen youths who were being housed at St. Vincent’s are being sent back to their homes or to other centers. St. Vincent’s School for Boys will reopen in its new incarnation in December or January.

Hammerle said the school’s entire staff, which includes therapists and case managers, will be staying on. She said the school will be able to accommodate up to 40 migrant boys ranging in age from 9 to 17 in most cases.

When unaccompanied minors are taken into custody they are housed initially in detention centers run by the U.S. Border Patrol. By law, they are supposed to be moved to the shelter system operated by the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours.

Many migrant minors have a family member or friend in the United States who is willing to serve as their sponsor, and they are typically allowed to leave the shelter and live with that person while they await immigration proceedings.

Hammerle expects the migrant boys coming to St. Vincent’s will remain there for only about six weeks. During that time, they will receive educational assessments, immunizations and instruction in English. She said many of the boys who will be temporarily housed at St. Vincent’s are likely to have sponsors in California.

The number of people eager to leave their countries of origin to enter the United States is enormous. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, by the end of June border officials had already detained people more than 1.74 million times, breaking the previous record of 1.73 million unauthorized crossings in fiscal 2021.

The Council on Foreign Relations reported in December that the United States is seeing a rise in apprehensions of unaccompanied migrant children, most from Central America, along its southern border. The report stated that immigration authorities encountered nearly 150,000 unaccompanied minors at or near the U.S.-Mexico border in the 2021 fiscal year, a record despite a dip in October.

According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, between the beginning of the federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2021, and the end of August, 118,486 migrant children were released to sponsors in the United States. During that period 358 were released to sponsors in Marin, up from 246 in fiscal year 2021.

“That’s record-setting,” said Lucia Martel-Dow, a former Canal Alliance immigration lawyer and a San Rafael Board of Education trustee, responding to the Marin number.

While the boys being sent to St. Vincent’s will be dispersed to sponsors all across the state, the minors placed with sponsors in Marin place new demands on local schools and often need extra help in adjusting to living in a different culture and coping with psychological trauma.

Neither San Rafael City Schools nor the Novato Unified School District were able to supply data Monday on the number of migrant youths who registered for classes this fall.

Between 2011 and 2020, San Rafael City Schools, which includes the San Rafael Elementary School District and the San Rafael High School District, added 1,045 migrant teenagers to its high schools and another 1,208 migrant children to its middle and elementary schools.

Between the 2017-18 school year and the beginning of this school year, 1,081 migrant youths enrolled in the Novato Unified School district.

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n the past, additional support has been provided to migrant minors by North Marin Community Services and Bay Area Community Resources. Last month, Marin supervisors increased to $308,000 the sum the county is paying BACR to address the emotional, social and physical health needs of migrant youths.

The contract funds a full-time “newcomers” services specialist at Davidson Middle School in San Rafael, mentorship for newcomer students and workshops for newcomer families.

Canal Alliance is also providing migrant youths with legal representation. Joana Castro Simonini, an attorney for Canal Alliance, said migrant youths who receive representation are commonly allowed to remain in the United States.

However, Simonini said that even with a staff that includes five attorneys, four paralegals, two legal assistants, an outreach coordinator and an operations manager, Canal Alliance lacks the capacity to represent the high number of migrant youths arriving in Marin.

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