Rafael Nadal is a professional tennis player from
Spain who’s widely regarded to be the greatest clay-court tennis player
in history. In fact, his success and dominance on the surface has led
him to be titled “The King of Clay”.
Rafael was born on the Spanish island of Mallorca. His dad’s a
businessman who not only owns an insurance company and a glass and
window company, but also has time to manage a restaurant. His mum’s a
Nadal’s professional career as a tennis player started when he was 15
years old in 2001. Although, not many people know that he won his first
tennis tournament when he was only 8 years old!
In 2002, he managed to reach the semifinal of Wimbledon championships as
a junior competitor.
One year after that, he succeeded in breaking into the world’s top 50
tennis players, which was, of course, an amazing accomplishment.
Nadal is the youngest player to win the Davis Cup, as an 18-year-old.
But at the same age, he suffered a fracture in his left ankle and missed
the 2004 French Open.
Nadal has won 19 Grand Slams and he’s second only to Roger Federer in
the list of all-time Grand Slam leaders. More strikingly though, Nadal
has won a staggering 12 French Open titles, making him by far the most
successful player ever at a single Major. No other male player has won
more than 8 titles at a single major in the Open Era.
The Federer vs Nadal rivalry reached its peak at the 2008 Wimbledon
final, where Nadal finally achieved his dream of winning Wimbledon after
a titanic battle that lasted 4 hours and 48 minutes. In the same year,
Nadal also won the French Open, making him one of the first men since
1980 to collect both the Wimbledon and French Open titles in the same
In addition to tennis and football, Nadal plays golf and also enjoys the
occasional game of poker. In fact, in April 2014, he played the world’s
number one female poker player in a poker game in Monaco.
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