Rafael Nadal is a former world No.1 professional tennis player from Spain. He first became World No.1 in August 2008. He stayed in that spot for 209 weeks. Known simply as Rafa, he holds the No.4 spot in the world rankings as of the end of February 2022.
After winning the 2022 Australian Open men’s singles events, he now holds the record for the most Grand Slam wins at 21. He used to share 20 wins with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Nadal also has the most French Open wins in history with 13.
As a teenager, he had one of the best careers in the history of the ATP. He reached World No.2 and had already won 16 career-level titles before he turned 20. He also has two Olympic Gold medals.
Player Profile and Personal Life
Nadal was born on June 3, 1986, at Manacor, Majorca. He stands 185 cm and his last listed weight was 85 kg. He is a left-handed player with a two-handed backhand. Since turning professional in 2001, he has earned nearly $US128 million in prize money, making him one of the biggest earners in tennis history.
He speaks Spanish, English, and Balearic Catalan. Aside from tennis he also enjoys golfing and football. He also enjoys playing poker. He is married to his long-time girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello Pascual.
He is known for his friendly rivalries with fellow top players Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Collectively, they are known as the Big Three. They are the players who have earned the most throughout their careers. Nadal has a friendly relationship with Federer. He also shares a friendly rivalry with Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.
Nadal is an aggressive tennis player who has speed and consistency as well as a strong defender due to his wide court coverage. He delivers great topspin, strong left-hand grip, and powerful two-handed backhand. He first showed specialization in clay courts when he started playing pro tennis.
Now, his court expertise has improved and has even broadened to grass, and hard courts.
Rafa had a stellar early career. He turned professional when he was 15 and before he turned 20, he was ranked No.2 in the world. He had also won his first French Open title by that time and six Masters Events titles by that time.
He became World No.1 in 2008 after he beat Federer in his first Wimbledon Championship. He would go on to win Wimbledon again in 2010. His most successful Grand Slam event is the French Open, which he has won thirteen times. He has won the Australian Open twice, most recently in 2022 and he has won the US Open four times.
He has won an Olympic gold medal twice. Once in 2008 for the men’s singles event and again in 2016 for the men’s doubles.
He also has a career in Golden Slam, which he first achieved in 2010. He has also made it to the ATP Tour finals twice, once in 2010 and again in 2013. He has helped Spain win the Davis Cup multiple times.
2014 and 2015 saw him struggle with injuries, which led to a drop in his rankings. He bounced back and in 201, bagged his 10th French Open title and 3rd US Open title. He ended the year back at No.1. He continued to perform relatively well through 2021 when he had to cut his season short because of a foot injury.
After taking time off to heal and recover, Nadal made one of the biggest comebacks of the year by winning the 2022 Australian Open. He also won the Mexican Open, beating Alexander Medvedev. He finished February 2022 on the World No.4 spot.
Career Titles: 91 (4th in the Open Era)Highest Ranking: No. 1 (18 August 2008)Current Ranking: No. 4 (28 February 2022)
Grand Slam Singles Performances
Australian Open - W (2009, 2022)French Open - W (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)Wimbledon - W (2008, 2010)US Open - W (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)
ATP Tour Finals - F (2010, 2013)Olympic Games - Gold (2008)
Career Titles: 11Highest Ranking: No. 26 (8 August 2005)Current Ranking: No. 1138 (28 February 2022)
Grand Slam Doubles Performances
Australian Open - 3R (2004, 2005)Wimbledon - 2R (2005)US Open - SF (2004)
Other Doubles Tournaments
Olympic Games - Gold (2016)
Davis Cup - W (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2019)
Gold medal – 2008 Beijing, SinglesGold medal – 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Doubles