Photo of Rafael Nadal

RAFAEL NADAL

Nationality:
Spain
Height:
185cm
Age:
38
Points:
435
RANKING
-

Bio

Rafael Nadal is considered a tennis legend and a sport icon from all young players who would like to begin a tennis career. He was born in Manacor on the island of Mallorca to Sebastián Nadal and Ana María Parera. He was born on 3 June 1986, in Mallorca, Spain. At present, he is 36 years old. The Spanish tennis legend has a height of 6 ft 1 in and he weighs 187lbs. He has a younger sister named María Isabel. He is the nephew of former footballer Miguel Angel Nadal, defender of Mallorca, Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Realizing Rafael's natural talent for tennis, his uncle Toni Nadal, a former professional tennis player, started him playing when he was just three years old and has been his coach ever since until 2017. T

he Spaniard continued to live in Manacor even after turning professional and returns as soon as he can to relax by fishing and playing golf. Here he also met María Francisca Perelló, known as Xisca, with whom he got engaged in December 2005, and who went with Rafael to Australia for the first time to attend the first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open. In 2008 the Majorca astronomical observatory dedicated an asteroid known as 128036 Rafaelnadal to the tennis player and in the same year Rafael founded a charity named after him, the Rafa Nadal Foundation.

This foundation, whose president is his mother Ana María, aims to develop social assistance actions and cooperative projects in Spain and in developing countries. Also in 2008 he was the first male tennis player to have won the Prince of Asturias Award for his sporting merits, after tennis players Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova. In 2010, the famous Colombian singer Shakira wanted him to star with her in the video of her single Gypsy. In the same year, on the occasion of his participation in the Bangkok tournament, Nadal participated in the One Million Trees for the King project, planting a tree in honor of the monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In Manacor, he also founded his own tennis academy, the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, directed by the historic coach and uncle Toni Nadal. Rafa is an honorary member of Real Madrid. A few days before the 2021 Roland Garros edition, the tournament organizers dedicated a monument to him inside the facility.

 In 2021, Nadal announced that he has a rare chronic disease in his left ankle, Mueller-Weiss syndrome. He was diagnosed at age 19 and put off the surgery for as long as possible. After surgery in 2021, he returned to tennis in early 2022, winning the Australian Open. He subsequently received two numbing and anti-inflammatory injections before each of his seven matches en route to winning the 2022 French Open. Nadal has said he is unwilling to do it again. In an open statement regarding his injury, he said: "I'm not injured, I'm a player living with an injury."

In fact, at the 2023 Australian Open, Rafa was regularly on the court, despite some physical problems. As a boy, he used to rush home from school to watch Goku in his favorite Japanese anime, Dragon Ball. CNN published an article about Nadal's childhood inspiration and called him the Dragon Ball of tennis because of his style from another planet.

Career

Nadal is recognized as one of the best tennis players ever, as well as one of the greatest athletes in the history of the sport. With 22 successes out of 30 finals played, he is the most successful tennis player in Grand Slam events in the men's singles: 14 Roland Garros, 4 US Open, 2 Wimbledon and 2 Australian Open. Along with Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Novak Dokovic, he is one of only four tennis players capable of winning all the Majors at least twice. With 59 successes in the men's singles he is in second position in the ranking of victories of the Big Titles, the most important and prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. In addition to the aforementioned 22 Grand Slams, he won 36 Masters 1000 and 1 Olympics in singles in Beijing 2008. His palmarès also includes 23 ATP 500 and 10 ATP 250, 5 Davis Cups with the Spanish national team and 2 Laver Cups, as well as a another Olympic gold medal, this time in doubles at Rio 2016. 

Nadal is considered the strongest player in the history of tennis on clay-courts. He is the only player between men and women to have won the same tournament, the Roland Garros, 14 times, with a balance of 112 victories and only three defeats. Rafa was number one in the ATP world for a total of 209 weeks, finishing 5 seasons in first place in the rankings. He is the only tennis player in history to have reached the No. 1 position in the ATP rankings over the course of three different decades. Furthermore, he is the tennis player who has occupied the second position for the longest time, remaining there for 160 consecutive weeks behind Roger Federer. He is the only player in history to never be relegated from the top 10 of the standings, as well as the absolute record holder for the number of consecutive weeks.

At 18 years and 6 months he is the youngest Davis Cup winner in history. At the age of 19, by winning 11 tournaments in one calendar year, he established himself as the winningest teenager of all time, while in 2010, at just 24, he became the youngest player in the Open Era to complete the Career Grand Slam and the Career Golden Slam, having won the four Majors and Olympic gold. With a prize pool of over 131 million dollars, he is the second tennis player in history in the ranking of career earnings, preceded by Novak Dokovic. 

After 13 years, on January 30, 2022, Nadal achieved his second success at the Australian Open, defeating world number 2 Daniil Medvedev in a final that lasted over 5 hours, to whom he came back from a two-set disadvantage, becoming the first player of the Open era to achieve the feat in the final of the tournament. Thus he establishes the new record of Grand Slam titles won in men's singles (21), ahead of the other two Big Three, the 20-time winners Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, also becoming the second player in the Open era, together with Novak Djokovic, to have won at least two Grand Slam tournaments.

As in 2020, he participates at the Roland Garros 2022 without having previously won any clay-court title. Having passed the first three rounds without losing a set, in the round of 16 she beat the ATP number 9 Félix Auger-Aliassime in five sets. In the quarterfinals he defeated world number 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in four sets. In the semifinals, he takes advantage of the retirement of the number three in the ranking, Alexander Zverev, due to an ankle injury that occurred on a score of 7-6, 6-6 in favor of him.

In his thirtieth Slam final, the Spanish tennis player triumphed in three sets over world number 8, Casper Ruud, conquering the 92nd title of his career, the 63rd on clay. Thanks to this success, he sets a new record of tournaments (22) won in men's singles in the Grand Slam trials, the first player to have won the same title 14 times, with a balance of 112 matches won and three lost.

Style of play

Rafael Nadal's playing style is that of an exceptional defender, with excellent technical, athletic and mental skills. His tennis is characterized by aggressive, powerful, topspin-laden strokes from behind the baseline. To make this style effective, the Spaniard needs great speed both in running and in footwork, muscular power, grip, resistance, balance. Thanks to the rotations he is able to play a very effective drop volley. Although he doesn't often use the volley game due to his defensive attitude, his net qualities have garnered the applause of insiders and specialists such as John McEnroe and Boris Becker.

The forehand is his best shot, made using the left hand although in life he is right-handed. The movement of the racket is almost 360º: his left arm, after the hit, continues in the movement until he brings the racket over his right shoulder. The most important feature in Nadal's forehand is certainly the exasperated topspin impressed on the ball, much greater than that used by all his contemporaries, which leads to a higher rebound making his forehand not very attackable despite not being a very deep shot.

The backhand, on which he worked a lot during his career and which he performs above all crossed, is performed with both hands. In the two-handed backhand, most of the stroke is executed by the non-dominant hand, which in Nadal's case is the right. However, being right-handed gives him a good advantage, allowing him to have good control over the ball, as well as giving him great power and finding very tight corners.

 His serve is characterized by a very simple movement. Nadal is able to maintain a high percentage of strategically placed primes. For the second, however, he uses a sliced left-handed shot that collides with the right backhand of the opponents; in general, however, he aims to obtain a strategic advantage from the serve, rather than collecting direct points. 

Another key point of his game is his great mental strength and his strategic approach to the game. Nadal never loses confidence regardless of the score, obsessive perseverance allows him to always stay focused to win every single point: often in this way he can recover from situations of momentary disadvantage. The Spaniard manages to strategically and meticulously manage all the external variables of the match, such as the playing surface or the weather conditions. Furthermore, he is capable of adapting to the tactics and game of those in front of him, finding their weaknesses and exploiting them to his own advantage.

Rivalries

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal formed one of the greatest rivalries in the history of sport. They have continuously held the first two places in the world rankings from July 2005 to August 2009 and are the only male tennis players to have finished 6 seasons in these positions. The Swiss was No. 1 in the world for a record 237 consecutive weeks, between February 2004 and August 2008, while the Spaniard, five years his junior, conquered the 2nd position in July 2005, holding it for 160 consecutive weeks before to be able to undermine the rival from the top.

The two tennis players have met 40 times, with the balance ending 24 to 16 in favor of Nadal. Since in tennis the draw of a tournament is drawn up on the basis of the ranking, the first two seeds have the opportunity to challenge each other only in the final; this legislation meant that most of their matches, 24, were played in the final match of an event. From 2006 to 2017, the two rivals dueled in 4 finals at the French Open, 3 at the Wimbledon tournament and 2 at the Australian Open. Of these 9 challenges, 4 ended in the fifth set. The 2008 Wimbledon final, won by the Spaniard, has been referred to by many experts as the most exciting and intense match in the history of tennis. Furthermore, the two faced each other in 12 Masters 1000 finals, among which the one in Rome in 2006 stands out, which lasted over 5 hours and ended with Nadal's triumph in the fifth set tie-break.

Nadal also has a strong rivalry with Novak Djokovic. The two met for the first time on June 7, 2006 in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, since then they have played 59 matches, with the balance in favor of the Serbian, 30-29. This is the first rivalry of the open era in terms of number of matches played, and it characterized above all the second part of Nadal's career, from the 2010 season onwards, when the two played their first Grand Slam final at the US Open, won by Nadal in 4 sets. On clay the balance is in favor of the Majorcan with 20 wins and 8 defeats, on grass they boast two wins each while on hard courts the balance is in favor of the Serbian with 20 wins against 7.

The two players played in 9 Grand Slam finals together, of which 4 consecutive, among which we remember in particular the final of the Australian Open 2012, which lasted 5 hours and 53 minutes and won by Nole for 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 65-7, 7-5 , the longest Grand Slam final ever considered one of the best matches in history. The balance of the Grand Slam finals is 5-4 in favor of Nadal, while the overall balance in the majors is 11-7 again for the Spaniard. The two also played in an Olympic semifinal in 2008, won by Nadal, and 29 matches in the Masters 1000. 

Nadal is part of the Big 3 with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Since the 2003 Australian Open, they have dominated the ATP Tour, winning 63 of 78 Grand Slam titles played up to the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (also reaching 70 Grand Slam finals during this period), with Nadal holding the record for total titles by all-time with 22 Grand Slam wins, followed by Djokovic with 21 and Federer with 20. Overall, they have won 12 US Opens, 17 Australian Opens, 17 Roland Garros and 17 Wimbledon. The three have won 18 consecutive Grand Slams from 2005 Roland Garros to Wimbledon in 2009, 11 consecutive Grand Slams from 2010 Australian Open to 2012 Wimbledon, and 13 in a row from 2017 Australian Open to 2020 Australian Open.

One of the Big Three is was the ATP No. 1 year-end every year from 2004 to 2021 except 2016 (17 of the last 18 years). Together, they have occupied the top three positions in the ATP singles rankings at the end of the year eight times, in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2018 and 2019. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have completed the Career Grand Slam by winning all four tournaments at least once in their careers. Nadal also won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics by completing the Career Golden Slam, and both Nadal and Djokovic have won each Grand Slam tournament at least twice. The Big Three hold the record for winning the four Grand Slams, the ATP Finals, the Masters 1000, and the ATP 500 overall.

Private life

Nadal has been in a relationship with María Francisca Perelló, often mistakenly referred to as Xisca from media, since 2005, and their engagement was reported in January 2019. The couple married in October 2019. On October 8, 2022, they welcomed their first child, a son named Rafael.

Net Worth and Endorsement

Rafael Nadal's net worth is $220 million as of 2023. His career earnings surpassed $131 million as of 2022. He ranks 2nd on the ATP's all-time earnings list. Thanks to his recent 22nd Grand Slam title, Nadal has surpassed Roger Federer. He currently he is behind Novak Djokovic. As of 2022, Nadal earned an estimated $6.42 million by winning 35 singles matches and 4 titles.

Rafa earns a large sum every year from various endorsement deals. His main athletic sponsor is currently Nike. Babolat is its racket supplier sponsor. Furthermore, his endorsement list includes Emporio Armani, Kia Heliocare, Telefonica, Banco Sabadell, Tommy Hilfiger, Mapfre.

Career titles

2022

Roland Garros
Acapulco
Australian Open
Melbourne

2021

ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Barcelona

2020

Roland Garros
Acapulco

2019

US Open
ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Rome

2018

ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo

2017

Beijing
US Open
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo

2016

Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo

2015

Hamburg
Stuttgart
Buenos Aires

2014

Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Rio de Janeiro
Doha

2013

US Open
ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati
ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Rome
ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
Acapulco
Sao Paulo

2012

Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo

2011

Roland Garros
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo

2010

Tokyo
US Open
Wimbledon
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
ATP Masters 1000 Rome
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo

2009

ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells
Australian Open

2008

Beijing Olympics
ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Wimbledon
London / Queen’s Club
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Hamburg
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo

2007

Stuttgart
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells

2006

Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Dubai

2005

ATP Masters 1000 Madrid
Beijing
ATP Masters 1000 Canada
Stuttgart
Bastad
Roland Garros
ATP Masters 1000 Rome
Barcelona
ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
Acapulco
Costa do Sauipe

2004

Sopot

 

 


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