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Rafael Nadal Biography

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Written by John Watson in Celebrities
Viewed by 406 readers since 01-07-2009

The professional men’s tennis tour has been dominated in recent years by Roger Federer, but in August of 2008, one man finally broke the Swiss players unprecedented 273 week run at the top, by winning his way to the number one ranking. That man was Rafael Nadal.

Born June 3rd, 1986 in Mallorca, Majorca was part of a large sporting family, with two uncles who played professional sports. It was his tennis playing uncle, Toni, that first noticed the raw talent that Rafael exhibited in the sport, although he was just as equally adept at football (soccer), playing both sports throughout his childhood. His father, fearing that the young Rafael’s education would suffer, made him choose between the two sports when he turned 12; he chose tennis.

By 14, Nadal was so good, the Spanish Tennis Federation asked him to move away from home to train in Barcelona, but, once again, his father intervened fearing that schoolwork would again be hurt. The senior Nadal took on all the financial responsibilities of training and equipment himself, and his hard work paid off when, at 15, Rafael defeated Pat Cash in a clay court exhibition match. It was a sign of things to come, a small precursor to the domination that Rafael would show on the clay court surface.

Rafael started his pro career in the same year and, in a meteoric rise, reached the top 50 in the world by the end of his first full year, his most memorable victory during this stretch being a 2004 straight set victory over, then number one, Roger Federer. It was the first meeting between the two who would later become one of the great rivalries in all of sports.

2005 was a breakthrough year for Nadal, winning his first major at the French Open and setting several records, the most notable of which was a streak of 24 consecutive wins on clay. After losing at Wimbledon, he went on another incredible streak, winning 24 straight matches and, at the tender age of 19, hit number 2 in the world rankings, behind Federer.

The Swiss master and, more importantly, the number one ranking were now well within reach, and in the years that followed the two men would wage an epic battle, leaving the rest of the male tennis circuit swimming in their wake. They met in an incredible 6 major finals, Nadal being the victor in 4 of them, and opened a gap at the top of the rankings that set them far and away from the field. Eventually, in August of 2008, the Spaniard finally claimed the top spot, knocking of Federer who had held the spot for the previous 4 and a half years, a streak that many feel may never be broken, but Rafael Nadal may just be the man who could take a run at that crown.

  • Career win/loss record 335-77
  • Titles 31
  • Majors 5
  • Career Earnings in excess of 20 million dollars
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