|Born:||3 June, 1986|
|Birthplace:||Manacor, Majorca, Spain|
|Height:||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Turned pro:||Turned pro|
|Career prize money:||US$42,646,332|
|Highest Ranking:||No. 1 (7 June, 2010)|
|Current Ranking:||No. 2 (15 August, 2011)|
|Grand Slam results|
|Australian Open:||W (2009)|
|French Open:||W (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)|
|Wimbledon:||W (2008, 2010)|
|US Open:||W (2010)|
|Tour Finals:||F (2010)|
|Olympic Games:||1st place (Gold Medal) (2008)|
|Highest Ranking:||No. 26 (8 August, 2005)|
|Current Ranking:||No. 131 (15 August, 2011)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open:||3R (2004, 2005)|
|US Open:||SF (2004)|
|Last updated on: 17 August, 2011.|
Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (born June 3, 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player, who has won thirteen Grand Slam singles titles. He has won the French Open a record eight timesand two Wimbledons in 2008 and 2010, Australian Open in 2009 and the US Open twice. He is currently ranked world number one. Since May 11 2008, Nadal is currently on a 27 match winning streak starting May 2008, winning four tournaments during this time, including the French Open and Wimbledon.In 2008 he also won the Australian open. He now has the most French Open titles in the history of tennis with eight.
From April 2005 to May 2007, Nadal won a record 81 consecutive clay court matches before being defeated by Roger Federer in the 2007 Hamburg Masters final. This is the longest winning streak of any male player on a single surface in the open era. Nadal is undefeated at the French Open, having won all 28 matches and four single titles he has played. These achievements have led some to regard Nadal as the greatest clay-court player in the history of the sport.
Nadal has a storied rivalry with Roger Federer, most notably for defeating the world number one at the French Open in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, so far denying Federer a Career Grand Slam. At the 2008 Wimbledon Championships, Nadal defeated Federer in the final, ending the latter's run of five consecutive wins, with Nadal becoming the first player since Björn Borg in 1980 to win both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year. He is also only the second male Spaniard to win the Wimbledon title and the first in 42 years.
Family and Early LifeEdit
Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, Mallorca to Sebastián Nadal and Ana María Parera; he has a younger sister named María Isabel. His uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal, is a retired professional football player, having played for RCD Mallorca, FC Barcelona, and the Spanish national team. Nadal remains an avid supporter of Real Madrid. His other uncle, Toni, himself a professional tennis player, introduced him to tennis as a 3 year-old boy and has been coaching him ever since.Toni has also stated that Nadal had a natural talent playing tennis while preferring to play football. By the time Nadal was five, he was going to the tennis club twice a week to play and at eight years of age, also a promising striker in the local football team, he won the regional tennis championships for under-12s. By the time Nadal was 12 he had won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group and was playing either tennis or football all the time. Then in stepped the third of the three brothers, Rafael's father, Sebastian. Nadal's father made him choose between football and tennis so that his school work would not suffer. When Nadal was 14 years old, the Spanish tennis federation requested that he leave Mallorca and move to Barcelona to continue his tennis progression and training. Nadal's parents and uncles turned down these requests, meaning Nadal received less financial support to aid his development. Rafael's father Sebastian covered these costs himself. By the age of 16, Nadal was ranked in the world's top 50 players.
While Nadal's upbringing and early years are largely kept private, he has stated growing up his passions were football, tennis and fishing.
Although Nadal plays left-handed, he is naturally right-handed. When he was younger, his coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, decided that his two-handed backhand would benefit from a strong right arm, so he taught Rafael to play with his left.
It was not until Nadal was 12 that he decided to pursue a career in tennis instead of football. In May 2001, when Nadal was 14 years old, tennis great Pat Cash played a clay-court exhibition match against him. Cash, who was originally scheduled to play Boris Becker, was reluctant to play against Nadal, taking offence to this last minute change of opponent. Cash lost the match by a close margin.
Nadal also trained at Nick Bollettieri's tennis camp in Florida for a short time during two summers in his early teens.
In 2002, the 15-year-old Nadal won his first Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) match, defeating Ramon Delgado in Mallorca to become the ninth player in the open era to win an ATP match before his 16th birthday.
In 2003, Nadal became the second-youngest player to be ranked among the world's top 100 singles players. He finished the year in the top 50, winning two Challenger titles. At his Wimbledon debut, Nadal, then 17, became the youngest male player to reach the third round since 16-year-old Boris Becker in 1984.
In 2004, Nadal was forced to miss most of the clay-court season, including the French Open, due to a stress fracture in his left ankle.
Rafael Nadal in New Haven2005 was Nadal's breakthrough year. At the Australian Open, he reached the fourth round and pushed the eventual runner-up, Lleyton Hewitt, to five sets. Two months later, he reached the final of the Miami Masters tournament, and despite being two points away from victory in straight sets, he was defeated in five sets by the world's number one player, Roger Federer.
Shifting to the clay court season, Nadal won two ATP Masters Series events in Monte Carlo and Rome. At one point in the year, Nadal won 24 consecutive matches, the longest winning streak of any teenager in the open era, topping Andre Agassi's run of 23 matches in 1988. By May 2005, Nadal had reached the top 5 in the world rankings, becoming the youngest player to break into the top 10 since Andrei Medvedev in 1993.
Nadal entered his first French Open among the favorites. He beat two of France's local hopes, Sébastien Grosjean and Richard Gasquet, to reach the semifinals. On his 19th birthday, he defeated Federer in the semifinals, preventing the Swiss from potentially achieving a career Grand Slam. Two days later, he became the fourth-youngest French Open champion in the open era, defeating Argentina's Mariano Puerta in the final. He became the seventh player to win a Grand Slam in his first appearance at the event and the first since Agassi at the 1995 Australian Open, and he is one of only two people to win at Roland Garros on their first attempt, the first being Mats Wilander in 1982. He also became the first teenager to win a Grand Slam singles title since Pete Sampras won the 1990 U.S. Open at age 19. Nadal is the first teenager to win at least six titles in a year since Agassi in 1988 at the age of 18.
Three days after his victory in Paris, his winning streak was snapped on the grass courts of Halle, Germany, where he was beaten by German Alexander Waske in the first round. He suffered another disappointment at the 2005 Wimbledon Championships, where he was eliminated in the second round by Gilles Müller of Luxembourg.
In July, at age 19 years, 1 month, and 22 days, Nadal became the third teenager to reach World No. 2 in the history of the ATP computer rankings, which began in 1973, joining Boris Becker (age 18 years, 9 months, and 17 days) and Björn Borg (age 18 years, 10 months, and 2 days) as the only teenagers to be ranked No. 2.
Nadal started his 2005 hardcourt season by defeating Agassi in the final of the Canada Masters. Nadal was seeded second at the 2005 U.S. Open but was eliminated in the third round by American James Blake in four sets. Despite the loss, his second seeding and third round performance were both career highs. After the 2005 U.S. Open, Nadal won two hard court tournaments. In September, he defeated Guillermo Coria in the final of the China Open in Beijing, and in October, he won his fourth ATP Masters Series event, defeating Ivan Ljubičić in five sets in the final of the Madrid Masters. He then suffered a foot injury that kept him out of the Tennis Masters Cup in 2005 and the start of 2006, causing him to miss the 2006 Australian Open. Overall, Nadal matched world No. 1 Roger Federer's standard in ATP titles won in a single season, eleven, and Masters Series events won, four. He won 79 matches in 2005, second only to Federer's 81.
Hi Anon, I think Rafa adjusted his secnod half of the year 2008 very well. And looking at the way he played on court last week, seems like the way he moved and stretched his body was less strenuous. Hope he can sustain longer without injury this year.Hey sn00py, oh yeah I think Nando would have ended up like A-Rod if he's in the final. Hi Anon, I think Rafa adjusted his secnod half of the year 2008 very well. And looking at the way he played on court last week, seems like the way he moved and stretched his body was less strenuous. Hope he can sustain longer without injury this year.Hey sn00py, oh yeah I think Nando would have ended up like A-Rod if he's in the final.
Nadal during his final versus Federer at the 2007 French Open.Nadal started 2007 by reaching the semifinals of the Chennai Open in India, where he lost to Xavier Malisse 6–4, 7–6. At his next tournament in Sydney, Australia, Nadal retired from his first match against Chris Guccione with a groin injury. At the Australian Open, Nadal defeated Andy Murray 6–7(3), 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1 to reach the quarterfinals, where he lost to Fernando González 6–2, 6–4, 6–3.
In the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships, Nadal lost to Mikhail Youzhny 7–6, 6–2. After that loss, he played at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, defeating Novak Djokovic 6–2, 7–5 in the final. However, at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Nadal was defeated in the quarterfinals by tenth seeded and eventual winner Djokovic 6–3, 6–4.
Nadal defeated Federer in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters 6–4, 6–4. This was Nadal's third consecutive title in the principality, the first player since Ilie Năstase in 1971–73 to accomplish that feat. He followed that hat-trick with another one at the Open Seat in Barcelona, Spain, defeating Guillermo Cañas in the final. At the Rome Masters, Nadal continued his hat-trick streak, beating Fernando González in the final 6–2, 6–2 to become the first man to win in Rome three consecutive years. At the Hamburg Masters, Nadal lost the final to Federer 2–6, 6–2, 6–0. The loss ended Nadal's clay court winning streak at 81, which is the male open-era record for most consecutive victories on a single surface. He thus surpassed John McEnroe's 75-match streak record on indoor carpet.
On May 2, 2007, the "Battle of Surfaces," an exhibition event, took place at the Palma Arena in Mallorca. Nadal and Federer met on a tennis court that is half grass and half clay. Nadal won 7–5, 4–6, 7–6(10).
Nadal and Federer would meet in the final of the French Open for the second consecutive year, and in the latter stages of the tournament for the third time in a row. Nadal prevailed in four sets, 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, winning his third straight championship at Roland Garros. With this victory, he became the first player to win the French Open in three consecutive years since Björn Borg in 1978–81. He once again prevented Roger Federer from achieving the career Grand Slam and holding all four major titles simultaneously.
In preparation for Wimbledon, Nadal played the grass court Queen's Club Championships, losing in the quarterfinals to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7–5, 7–6(0).
In Wimbledon, Nadal reached his second final in a row, having been beaten by Federer in the final there in 2006. Nadal's road to the final proved difficult—he was pushed to the limit both in the third and fourth round, ultimately prevailing in tough five-set matches on each occasion. In his fourth round match against the talented Russian Mikhail Youzhny, Nadal's mental strength was key in enabling him to win. Having been outplayed in the first two sets, Nadal immediately bounced back to seal an impressive victory 4–6, 3–6, 6–1, 6–2, 6–2. Numerous rain delays also kept him on the court for seven straight days. In the quarterfinals, Nadal defeated Tomáš Berdych in straight sets, and was awarded victory in his semifinal when fourth seed Novak Djokovic retired injured. However, he was defeated 7–6(7), 4–6, 7–6(3), 2–6, 6–2 in the final by Federer, giving the Swiss his fifth straight triumph at Wimbledon. While leading 4–1 in the fourth set, Nadal had to take some time out to have an ailing knee taped, and although he exhibited no apparent ill effects, the direction of the match then turned in Federer's favour. Early in the fifth set, Nadal failed to convert four break point chances at 15–40 in two consecutive Federer service games.
Despite this loss, Nadal remained the only active player with a winning record (8–6) against Federer after five matches or more. Nadal is 6–1 on clay, 2–3 on hard courts, and 0–2 on grass against Federer. With his achievement in Wimbledon 2007, Nadal is also both the first player that has forced Federer to a fifth set in a Grand Slam (tennis) final, and the first to take Federer to a fifth set at Wimbledon since his 2001 fourth round encounter with Pete Sampras.
At the clay-court tournament in Stuttgart, his first tournament since Wimbledon, Nadal defeated comeback player Stanislas Wawrinka in the final to win his second title there in three years (he did not participate in 2006). It was his 23rd title.
Nadal then played the Canada Masters tournament, an event he won in 2005. He reached the semifinal, where he lost to the eventual winner Novak Djokovic 7–5, 6–3. The following week, at the Cincinnati Masters, Nadal retired from his first match (a second-round encounter with Juan Mónaco who was leading 7–6, 4–1). Although Nadal had been struggling with a knee injury, it was a problem with his forearm that caused him to retire.
At the 2007 U.S. Open, Nadal was defeated in the fourth round by countryman David Ferrer in four sets, 6–7, 6–4, 7–6, 6–2. He also lost in the 2007 Madrid Masters quarterfinals. He lost to eventual titlist David Nalbandian 6–1, 6–2. At the 2007 Paris Masters, Nadal reached the semifinals where he slimly defeated Marcos Baghdatis. He faced David Nalbandian in the final again, and lost again, 6–4, 6–0. By reaching the final of the Paris Masters, the Cincinnati Masters becomes the only ATP Masters Series event to which Nadal has not reached the title match.
Nadal participated in the Tennis Masters Cup,defeating Richard Gasquet 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the first match of round-robin contention. He then lost to David Ferrer 4–6 6–4 6–3, followed by a 6–4, 6–4 victory in the match against Novak Djokovic. Nadal's advance to the semifinals was guaranteed after Richard Gasquet of France lost 6–1, 6–1, to David Ferrer. The semi-final proved to be the last match of the season as he was beaten 6–4 6–1 by Roger Federer.
During the close season a very serious problem with his foot which might hinder his career was raised by his coach. However Nadal himself and his doctor denied this: they both claimed he was in perfect health.
Nadal started his year as the top seed at the Chennai Open. In the semi-finals, Nadal defeated fellow countryman Carlos Moyà in 3 hours, 54 minutes, 6–7(3), 7–6(8), 7–6(1). This match equaled the record for the longest three set match in ATP tour history that Andrei Cherkasov and Andrea Gaudenzi previously held. In the final, Nadal was defeated by Mikhail Youzhny 6–0, 6–1.
At the 2008 Australian Open, Nadal defeated Jarkko Nieminen in the quarterfinals and thereby reached the semifinals for the first time. He was defeated by unseeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6–2, 6–3, 6–2 despite having not lost a set in his previous five matches.
In Rotterdam, he was upset by Andreas Seppi, who defeated him 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the second round. At the Dubai Tennis Championships, Nadal reached the quarter finals where he lost to the eventual champion, Andy Roddick in straight sets 7–6, 6–2. At the 2008 Pacific Life Open, Nadal, the defending champion, fell to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals 6–2, 6–3, after three set wins against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and James Blake.
In the next week, in the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open, Nadal fell to Nikolay Davydenko in the final 4–6 2–6. Nadal followed this up with a fourth straight Monte Carlo Masters victory, defeating Roger Federer, 7–5, 7–5, coupled with a 6–3, 6–3, 6–2 triumph in the doubles partnering Tommy Robredo. He thereby became only the second player in history to win both the singles and doubles of a Masters Series tournament, the other being Jim Courier at the 1991 Indian Wells tournament.
Nadal followed this up a week later with his 25th career ATP title in Barcelona, his fourth win in a row there, by beating his compatriot David Ferrer in three sets. This improved his record to 20–1 in clay court finals, and he has won 103 of his last 104 matches on clay.
At the 2008 Rome Masters, Nadal, affected by his painful right foot, was upset by fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round in straight sets 7–5, 6–1. It was only his second loss in his last 105 clay court matches, and his first-ever loss in Rome.
At the 2008 Hamburg Masters, Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 7–5, 2–6, 6–2 in a semi final lasting more than three hours. On May 18, Nadal went on capture his 11th ATP Masters Series crown after defeating Roger Federer in the final 7–5, 6–7, 6–3. He thereby became only the third player since 1990 to have captured all three clay-court Masters Series titles (Monte Carlo, Rome and Hamburg) in his career, the other two being Gustavo Kuerten and Marcelo Rios.
At the 2008 French Open, Nadal won his first round match in straight sets by beating Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7–5, 6–3, 6–1. In his second round match, Nadal beat Frenchman Nicolas Devilder 6–4, 6–0, 6–1. In his fourth straight day on the court, he disposed of the Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6–1, 6–3, 6–1 in the third round. In the fourth round, Nadal beat Spaniard and 22nd seed, Fernando Verdasco 6–1, 6–0, 6–2. This was Nadal's 4th straight left hander in the French Open. In the quarterfinals, Nadal beat another Spaniard, the 19th seed Nicolas Almagro, 6–1, 6–1, 6–1. He had dropped just 25 games to this point (a record for fewest games lost through the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event in the Open Era), an average of five per match. In his semifinal, Nadal overcame third seed Novak Djokovic, 6–4 6–2 7–6(3), to book a place in the final against Roger Federer. He is the third player in history (after Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl) to play four consecutive French Open finals. Nadal won the final match over Federer 6–1 6–3 6–0, tying Bjorn Borg's record of four consecutive Roland Garros singles titles. He won the tournament without dropping a set, joining Federer, Borg, Rosewall and Năstase as the only other men to win a Grand Slam without dropping a set during open era. Nadal paid respectful tribute to opponent Roger Federer after his victory. This was the first time since 1999 that someone had won a 6–0 set against Federer. Only three other men have won the same Grand Slam four consecutive times, during the open era, Sampras (1997-2000 Wimbledon), Borg (1978-81 French Open and 1976-80 Wimbledon) and Federer (2003-07 Wimbledon and 2004-07 US Open). In winning 4 consecutive French Opens, Nadal has not played a single five set match.
At the Queen's Club Championships, he overcame Ivo Karlović's 35 aces and won the quaterfinals, 6–7(5), 7–6(5), 7–6(4). He defeated the four-time and defending champion Andy Roddick in the semifinals, 7–5, 6–4. He then went on to defeat Novak Djokovic in the final, 7–6(6), 7–5 to capture his first ATP title on grass. With the win, Nadal became the first Spanish player to win a Grass Court Event (Queens) during the open era, and the second player in the Open era (after Ilie Nastase) to win this tournament as reigning French Open champion.
After winning the 2008 Queen's Club Championships, Nadal entered the 2008 Wimbledon Championships. In the first round Nadal met Andreas Beck, winning 6–4, 6–4, 7–6(0) and progressed into the second round. In a 4 set match Nadal overcame Ernests Gulbis 5–7, 6–2, 7–6(2), 6–3. In round 3, Nicolas Kiefer was eliminated by Nadal; 7–6(3), 6–2, 6–3 and giving Nadal a 4th round tie against Russian Mikhail Youzhny. This Nadal won in straight sets; 6–3, 6–3, 6–1. In the quarter finals, Nadal was matched against British number 1 Andy Murray, whom he defeated in straight sets 6–3, 6–2, 6–4. After beating Rainer Schuettler 6–1 7–6 6–4 in the semifinal, Nadal once again met world number one Roger Federer in the final. Nadal won his first Wimbledon title by beating Federer 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5), 6–7(8), 9–7, in the longest Wimbledon final in history, playing for 4 hours and 48 minutes. It also marked the first time that a player won both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year since Bjorn Borg in 1980. Nadal is the first person to win French Open, Queens and Wimbledon in the same year. He was also the first Spaniard to win the men's singles title since Manuel Santana in 1966. The match is considered to be one of the greatest Wimbledon finals in history. Nadal has won most Grand Slam titles (5) among Spanish players.
Nadal had to skip defending the 2008 Mercedes Cup title right after Wimbledon because of a minor knee injury sustained during Wimbledon.
With the number 1 ranking spot in the ATP Race, Nadal has qualified to 2008 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, along with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Nadal has become the first player to remain No. 2 for three consecutive (non calender) years from July 25, 2005 to July 24, 2008.
He is currently playing in Toronto at the Rogers Cup, where he reached the semifinals last year and won in 2005. In the first match (2nd round), Nadal beat qualifier Jesse Levine 6-4 6-2. He then defeated Russian Igor Andreev 6-2 7-6(1) to earn a spot in the quarterfinal. In the quarterfinals, Nadal continued his journey to overtake Federer's number one ranking by defeating Richard Gasquet 6-7(12), 6-2, 6-1. He will face Andy Murray in the semis and will try to win his 28th match in a row. Murray beat Novak Djokovic in the quarters, winning 6-3, 7-6(3). Nadal's trying to have his 8th final in last nine tournaments since Miami in April.
Nadal's playing style is best tailored for clay courts, although currently his tennis is suited to all court surfaces. In past years Nadal has been called a clay court specialist, but he has adapted his game for grass and hard courts in the last 2 years. Playing with a strong two-handed backhand, well-angled topspin heavy strokes, fast mobility on the court, excellent defense and a preference to play from the deep court, he has developed into one of the best clay court players in the history of the game. He uses a full western grip forehand, which allows him to hit heavy, powerful topspin forehands giving him a bigger margin of error because of the height at which he clears the net and the speed at which the ball drops due to the topspin that is applied to the ball. His heavy topspin makes the ball kick up high in the air, which makes it extremely difficult to return. However, these types of shots are returned short in length but the spin kicks it up so high that this kind of play is sufficient on clay. He is naturally right-handed, but he plays left-handed, and uses his dominant hand as an anchor for his two-handed backhand which he can flatten out or hit topspin like his forehand. In addition, being naturally right handed allows him to be balanced regardless of which foot he is putting his weight on, an exceptional talent when one tries to hit the ball after starting a move in the wrong direction. Known for his excellent defense, Nadal hits on the run well and creates many winners from seemingly defensive positions. Rafael Nadal is extremely athletic, and tends to go after every shot, even apparent winners from his opponents.
Nadal's serve was not considered one of his strengths, compared to other players. However, it has become more of a weapon over the years; currently a highly effective first serve and a moderate second serve. Usually employing a hard lefty slice towards most of his opponents' backhands (right-handed opponents), his serve can be relied upon for consistency and also for some short-point wins such as Aces and bad service-returns. With excellent accuracy, power, and consistency, his topspin ground strokes are his main assets.
Another one of Nadal's strengths is the mental aspect of his tennis game. His ability to come back from behind in a match greatly assists him. He also has good footwork, which helps him to prepare for tennis strokes and get around the court efficiently. In addition, he can put away short balls and comes to the net quite often. Rafael Nadal has an under-emphasized net game. He is able to volley deep, but his main strength at the net is his touch and feel. Nadal is good at angling volleys away from his opponents and can hit drop volleys well after running extremely quickly up to the net to return any drop shot made by his opponent.
Overall, Nadal is an aggressive counterpuncher, forcing his opponents to make errors with his powerful topspin ground strokes, his speed and overall athleticism, his mental fortitude, and his ability to put away short balls.
Nadal uses a Babolat AeroPro Drive racquet without the newly added cortex system. Despite common belief that he uses the string "Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour 16", he actually uses the string "Babolat Duralast". This model's handle is (L2 grip= 4 1/4)) with no replacement grip, instead Nadal wraps 2 over grips, and the racquet strung between 53 and 55 pounds. His clothing sponsor is Nike. Nadal is known for his unconventional wear, turning up in sleeveless tops and Capri pants in a variety of colours. He wears the Nike Air Max Breathe Cage II shoes which have been customized for him with the famous "Vamos Rafa" slogan written on the back of them. Currently, his shoes display his nickname "Rafa" on one shoe and a logo specifically designed by Nike featuring a stylistic bull's head on the other.
- Photo Gallery - Photos of Rafael Nadal.
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