PARIS: Paris police have recovered a 300,000-euro (USD 375,000) watch stolen from Rafael Nadal at the hotel where he stayed during the French Open and arrested a hotel employee, a police source said on Wednesday.
The source said police tracked down the alleged thief, a hotel barman, yesterday after tracing his hotel access badge, which was used to get into the suite in which Nadal stayed with his parents during the championship.
He confessed to having entered Nadal's suite and taken the luxury watch, and brought police to the spot where he had hidden it along a railway track near his home in the Essonne area south of Paris, the source said.
Speaking at a tournament in Halle, Germany, Nadal praised police for cracking the case.
"The French police have done good work," he said, adding he was "very happy" the watch had been found and praising the hotel despite the incident.
"I cannot say anything wrong about the hotel. They were great for me every time I was there, for the last, I think, eight years. I'll be back in the hotel next year," Nadal said.
French media reported that luxury watchmaker Richard Mille had lent Nadal the watch for the French Open, which the Spanish tennis sensation won for a record seventh time Monday, beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic.