Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera is a Spanish professional tennis player from Mallorca currently ranked world No. 1 in men's singles tennis by the ATP.
His success on clay has earned him the nickname "The King of Clay" and has led many sports journalists and commentators, as well as former and current players, to regard him as the finest clay court player in history.
Furthermore, his evolution into an all-court threat has established him as one of the best ever all-rounders in tennis, with some – including former world No. 1 and singles Career Golden Slam winner Andre Agassi – considering Nadal to be the greatest player of all time.
Nadal has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles, the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles, 2016 Olympic gold medal in doubles, and an all-time record of 35 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, and 20 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments. Nadal has held the world No. 1 ranking for a total of 200 weeks., including being the year-end No. 1 five times. In majors, Nadal has won 12 French Open titles, 4 US Open titles, 2 Wimbledon titles, and one Australian Open title. He was also a member of the winning Spain Davis Cup team in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019. In 2010, he became the seventh player in history and youngest of four in the Open Era to achieve the Career Grand Slam. He is the second male player, after Andre Agassi, to complete the singles Career Golden Slam.
Nadal and Mats Wilander are the only two players in history who have won at least two Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces—hard court, grass, and clay. By winning the 2019 French Open, Nadal became the only player -male or female - to win a single Grand Slam tournament twelve times and the first to win at least one Grand Slam tournament for ten consecutive years (2005-2014), breaking the record of eight consecutive years previously shared by Björn Borg, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer. His victory at the 2014 French Open brought him level with Sampras at 14 Grand Slam singles titles, second only to Federer's record of 17 that time. He broke the tie with Sampras by winning 2017 French Open, then later that year he added the US Open trophy to his collection as well as the 2018 and 2019 Roland Garros and US Open and now he stands on the second on the all-time rank list with 19 singles Grand Slam titles 1 behind Federer (20).
Nadal is the only male player in tennis history to win one Grand Slam and at least one Masters 1000 title for ten consecutive years from 2005–2014. He beat Guillermo Vilas's Open Era record of 49 clay-court titles by winning the Monte-Carlo Masters in 2017. Nadal became the only man to win the same tournament 10 times by winning the Monte-Carlo Masters in 2017. He repeated this historic achievement by winning the Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell for a 10th time just a few weeks later. By winning the 2017 French Open, Nadal became the only male and second overall to win a single Grand Slam tournament 10 times after Margaret Court. By winning his 11th Monte Carlo Masters title in 2018, he became the first and only male player in the Open Era to win a single tournament 11 times. Soon after, he would replicate the feat in winning his 11th Barcelona title and 11th Roland Garros crown, which means he owns records for most titles at the ATP 500 and Masters 1000. He also owns the longest single-surface winning streak in the Open Era, having won 81 consecutive matches on clay from April 2005 to May 2007. As well as Nadal broke John McEnroe's 34-year-old record for consecutive set wins on a single surface by winning 50 sets on clay: his streak started at Roland Garros first round of 2017 and ended at Madrid Masters quarterfinal in 2018.
At the Rome Masters'18, Nadal captured his 8th title in the Italian capital as well as his 78th career title, thus overtaking John McEnroe in the fourth place on the list of most titles won in the Open Era. It was Nadal's 32nd Masters title - most of any player in the Open Era. With his victory in Rome, Nadal also regained the No. 1 spot from Federer. Also In the semifinals, he faced his arch-rival Novak Djokovic for the record 51st time, beating him in two sets after a tight first set tiebreak.
By winning the French Open in 2018, Nadal tied Margaret Court‘s record for singles titles at a Grand Slam event (Court won 11 Australian Opens, but seven came when it was the Australian Championships, an amateur event.). It was Nadal's 17th Grand Slam title. En route to the title, Nadal dropped only one set, beating Dominic Thiem in the final in three sets. Nadal became just the fourth man in the Open Era to win three or more major titles after turning 30. It is an exclusive club that also includes Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall.
He was seeded second at the 2019 Australian Open, and recorded straight-sets wins against James Duckworth, Matthew Ebden, Alex de Minaur, Tomáš Berdych, first-time quarterfinalist Frances Tiafoe and first-time semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach his fifth Australian Open final. This was the first time that Nadal had advanced to an Australian Open final without losing a set; he had also lost only two service games during this run, both in his first-round match against Duckworth. Nadal lost the final in straight sets to Novak Djokovic, winning only eight games for the match, and marking Nadal's first straight-sets loss in a Grand Slam final.
He finally won his first tournament of the year'19 in Rome, with a three set win over Djokovic in the final. By beating the reigning No.1, Nadal broke the tie with Boris Becker and now he holds the all-time record by defeating the world No.1 20 times! At the 2019 French Open, Nadal defeated Yannick Hanfmann, Yannick Maden, David Goffin, Juan Ignacio Londero, Kei Nishikori and Roger Federer (their first meeting at the tournament since 2011), dropping only one set along the way, to set up his twelfth French Open final. In a rematch of the previous year's final against Thiem, Nadal prevailed in four sets to claim his record-extending 12th French Open title. He now has broken the previous all-time record set by Margaret Court at the of most championships by singles player, man or woman, at a Grand Slam tournament. She had won 11 singles championships at the Australian Open.
Nadal next played at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships and reached the semifinals again where he faced Federer for the first time at Wimbledon since the 2008 Wimbledon final, a match regarded by some as the greatest match in the history of tennis. Nadal then lost the semifinal to Federer in four sets.
At the Rogers Cup, Nadal was the defending champion and top seed. By defeating Fabio Fognini in the quarterfinals, he took over the record for the highest number of Masters 1000 match wins of any active player, surpassing Roger Federer's previous record of 378 victories. In the semifinal, he received a walkover over Gaël Monfils, and in the final, he yielded just three games to Daniil Medvedev, winning in straight sets. This successful title defense was the first he had ever achieved on a surface other than clay. For the second year in a row, Nadal withdrew from Cincinnati Masters afterwards to focus on his US Open preparations. At the 2019 US Open, Nadal lost only one set (against Marin Čilić) en route to the final, which he won against Daniil Medvedev in five sets; in doing so, Nadal claimed his fourth US Open title and 19th Grand Slam title (placing him only one behind Roger Federer in overall standings), won his first five-set Grand Slam final since the 2009 Australian Open final and completed his second-best season in terms of Grand Slam singles results.
Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, Balearic Islands, Spain.
His father Sebastián Nadal, a businessman who owns an insurance company, a glass and window company, Vidres Mallorca and manages his own restaurant, Sa Punta.
His mother is Ana María Parera, a housewife. He has a younger sister named María Isabel. His uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal, is a retired professional footballer, who played for RCD Mallorca, FC Barcelona, and the Spanish national team. Nadal supports football clubs Real Madrid and RCD Mallorca. Recognizing that Nadal had a natural talent for tennis, another uncle, Toni Nadal, a former professional tennis player, introduced him to tennis when he was three years old.
At age eight, Nadal won an under-12 regional tennis championship at a time when he was also a promising football player. This made Toni Nadal intensify training, and at that time he encouraged Nadal to play left-handed for a natural advantage on the tennis court, as he noticed Nadal played forehand shots with two hands. This may be due to the fact he is ambidextrous, playing tennis with his left hand, and writing with his right.
When Nadal was 12, he won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group and was playing tennis and football all the time. Nadal's father made him choose between football and tennis so that his school work would not deteriorate entirely. Nadal said: "I chose tennis. Football had to stop straight away."
When he was 14, the Spanish tennis federation requested that he leave Mallorca and move to Barcelona to continue his tennis training. Nadal's family turned down this request, partly because they feared it would hurt his education, but also because Toni said that "I don't want to believe that you have to go to America, or other places to be a good athlete. You can do it from your home."
The decision to stay home meant that Nadal received less financial support from the federation; instead, Nadal's father covered the costs. In May 2001, he defeated former Grand Slam tournament champion Pat Cash in a clay-court exhibition match.
Nadal turned professional at the age of 15, and participated in two events on the ITF junior circuit. In 2002, at the age of 16, Nadal reached the semifinals of the Boy's Singles tournament at Wimbledon, in his first ITF junior event.
By the age of 17, he beat Roger Federer the first time they played and became the youngest man to reach the third round at Wimbledon since Boris Becker. At 18, he helped pace Spain over the US in the junior Davis Cup in his second, and final, appearance on the ITF junior circuit. At 19, Nadal won the French Open the first time he played it, a feat not accomplished in Paris for more than 20 years. He eventually won it the first four times he played at Roland Garros. In 2003, he had won the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award. Early in his career, Nadal became known for his habit of biting the trophies he won.
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