Paris: Paris police have recovered a 300,000-euro ($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 Wednesday.
The source said police tracked down the alleged thief, a hotel barman, on Tuesday 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 allegedly 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.
Earlier it was reported that the Spaniard was wearing the Richard Mille watch after he defeated Novak Djokovic in the Grand Slam final on Monday, but found it missing when he woke up on Tuesday, the player’s relatives told the police.
“Nobody broke into the hotel room,” the police source said. Richard Mille had lent Nadal the watch for the tournament.