When we talk about the current World number 2 Rafael Nadal we are not just talking about one of the biggest in history. The palmares of the Spanish champion speaks for him, nineteen Slam titles and wins in all four main tournaments.
Rafa has won 85 tournaments and a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. The results are incredible in themselves, but what surprises every time the Spanish athlete is his mental strength and his desire not to never give up.
Nadal on the secret behind prolonged successes
Rafael Nadal believes it is desire, not talent, which has kept the ‘big three’ of himself, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer on top of the tennis world for so long.
“We can talk about many technical things, but the most important thing is the love for tennis that the three of us feel because, without all that, everything else is not possible,” Nadal told ESPN. “I think what makes the greats of sport really great is the desire and passion to do what they do and to be better.
With that and the right people in our environment, we have found the way to always improve" - the 19 time Grand Slam champion. The former tennis player Andre Agassi picked Nadal as the greatest of all time because of the way the Spaniard "had to deal with Federer, Djokovic, Murray in the golden age of tennis".
Nadal leads the head-to-head record in Grand Slams against all members of the Big Three and he has highest number of Slams won beating a Big Three member en route (13). Nadal is, along with Wilander, the only male tennis player to win at least two Grand Slams on three different surfaces (hard, grass and clay).
Nadal is also, along with Agassi, the only male tennis player to win the Olympic Gold in singles and the four Grand Slams in his career, a feat known as Career Golden Slam. In 2010, Nadal became the only male tennis player to win Grand Slams on three different surfaces (clay, grass and hard courts) the same calendar year.
Nadal holds the record for most consecutive years winning a Grand Slam (2005–2014), as well as the record for most outdoor titles (83).