Born on 3 June 1986, Rafael Nadal is Spanish tennis player. He is admired by all sports analysts, tennis writers, fans and media pundits as one of the greatest tennis players in the game of Tennis.
Inspired by his uncle Toni Nadal, Rafael started playing tennis at the age of four. At an early age of eight, Nadal won an under-12 regional tennis championship. Uncle Toni was very happy with this first achievement and marked that Rafael played forehand shots with two hands. Toni always encouraged him to play left-handed, thinking it could give Rafael an edge on the court.
The Spaniard started his professional career in the year 2001. Although he played in only one Grand Slam tournament as a junior competitor, he reached the semifinals at the 2002 Wimbledon Championships.
Nadal has won 16 Grand Slam singles titles, which ranks him second on the all-time list only to Roger Federer’s who has a record of 20 majors. Nadal has a record of 30 Masters 1000 titles, tied with Novak Djokovic.
Popularly known as the “King of Clay” Nadal has also won the French Open title a record 11 times, the most by any tennis player. Nadal won the French Open on his very first attempt as just a 19-year-old boy in 2005 and clinched the title for consecutive 3 years from 2005 to 2008. He came into limelight when he defeated the world No. 1 Roger Federer in three consecutive finals from 2006 to 2008.
Nadal is adjourned as the only player to defeat Federer in four finals at the same major. Nadal is also the only player to beat Federer in the finals of 3 different grand slams that involves Roland Garros, Australian Open, and Wimbledon.
He holds a match record of 79–2 at Roland Garros (never taken to five sets in the final) from 2005 to 2017, achieving a win percentage of 97.5%, and is the only player to achieve this type of dominance at any single Grand Slam tournament.
Nadal has won at least one Masters 1000 title for ten consecutive years from 2005 to 2014 and is the only player to achieve this consistency in the Open Era. He owns the longest single surface win streak by a male having won 81 consecutive matches on clay courts from 2005 to 2007, 16 better than Federer's record on grass.
Nadal also won a record eight consecutive Monte Carlo Masters 1000 titles from 2005 to 2012, and a record overall 10 titles including his 2016 and 2017 wins. Nadal has also won an all-time record seven Masters 1000 titles in Rome, and 10 titles at the ATP 500 Barcelona Open.
In 2010, Nadal won the French Open plus all three clay court Masters 1000 events (Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid) in the same calendar year, thus becoming the first, and only, player to complete the "Clay Slam".
Nadal won at least one Grand Slam tournament for 10 consecutive years (2005 – 2014) having broken the previous men's record of eight consecutive years. Nadal has achieved a record 10 titles at three different tournaments: French Open, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona. That means, he holds the record for most titles at three different levels, ATP 500 (Barcelona-10), Masters 1000 (Monte Carlo-10), and Grand Slams (Roland Garros-11). He has accrued 30 titles from these three clay court tournaments alone.