Rafael Nadal's Biography
Who is Rafael Nadal?Rafael Nadal-Parera was born on 3rd June, 1986, in Manacor, Mallorca.
His parents, Sebastian and Ana Maria introduced him to tennis at a very young age and he played his first championship tournament at the age of 8 years old in Baleares.
He turned professional in 2001 at the age of 15 and won his first ATP match, defeating Ramon Delgado to become only the ninth player before his 16th birthday to do so.
His hero is Carlos Moya, his coach is his uncle, Toni Nadal and he is managed by Carlos Costa.
2005 proved a pivotal year for Nadal. By May 2005 he had made it into the top 5.
By the autumn of 2005, Nadal had won a further 10 singles titles (to add to his one in 2004) including 3 ATP Masters Series events and 1 Grand Slam title with a 72-10 match record - second only to Roger Federer.
In early 2005 he won 24 matches in a row, breaking the record for the longest winning streak of a teenager, beating Andre Agassi's run of 23 matches in 1988.
In his French Open debut, he won his first Grand Slam event, beating Federer in the semi-finals on his 19th birthday.
In 2005 at Wimbledon, Nadal was seeded 4, but crashed out in the 2nd round to the Luxembourg player, Gilles Muller. He was eliminated in the third round of the 2005 US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, by American James Blake.
Rafael Nadal has a fantastic record on clay courts. In May 2006, his defeat of Roger Federer to win the Rome Masters meant that he equalled the record of consecutive 53 wins on clay. His next match - victory over Robin Soderling in the first round of the French Open ensured that he overtook Argentina's Guillermo Vilas 1977's run and had the record to himself.
Nadal went on to win the 2006 French Open again beating Roger Federer in the final. Nadal said he was delighted with the win because: "Federer is the best player in history - no other player has ever had such quality."
However, Federer turned the tables on Nadal on the grass of Wimbledon. Nadal had played well to reach the final and managed to take a set off Federer but eventually went down 6-0 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.
In April 2007, Rafael Nadal continued his brilliant run on clay, when he won the Monte Carlo Masters title beating Roger Federer in the final, however in May 2007 Roger Federer took revenge, beating Rafael Nadal 2-6 6-2 6-0 to win the Hamburg Masters title and end Nadal's record run of 81 straight wins on clay.
However, the tide turned again in June 2007 when Rafael Nadal won a third straight French Open title beating Roger Federer 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the final.
In June 2008 Rafael Nadal made it four straight French Opens when he easily defeated Roger Federer 6-1 6-3 6-0.
On 6 July 2008, Rafael Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back.
Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer in an epic Wimbledon final 6-4 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-7 (8-10) 9-7.
On August 17, 2008 Rafael Nadal beat Fernando Gonzalez to win gold in the men's tennis tournament at the Beijing Olympics.
On the following day, Rafael Nadal took over from Roger Federer as the tennis world number one in the official rankings.
On 1 February 2009 Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2 to win his first Australian Open title.
What made the victory all the more impressive was that Nadal was playing just two days after his marathon five-hour semi-final - the longest match in Australian Open history.
In March 2009, Rafael Nadal continued his good form winning the Indian Wells Masters 1000 final with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Andy Murray.
In May 2009, Rafael Nadal was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Roger Federer in the final of the Madrid Open. It was only Nadal's fifth defeat on clay since 2005 and brought to an end 33 consecutive victories on clay.
In April 2010, having struggled with knee injuries for nearly a year, Rafael Nadal beat Fernando Verdasco to win a sixth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters title.
In May 2010 Rafael Nadal beat David Ferrer in the final of the Rome Masters to equal Andre Agassi's record of 17 Masters titles. Agassi achieved the record when he was 34, whilst Nadal achieved it at 23.
In June 2010 Rafael Nadal won the French Open for the fifth time, beating Robin Soderling in straight sets.
The following month, Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5 6-4 to regain the Wimbledon title.
In September 2010, Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic to win the US Open and thus become only the seventh man in history to win all the majors: Wimbledon, the French, Australian and US Opens.
It was Nadal's ninth Grand Slam title.
In April 2011, Rafael Nadal won his seventh Monte Carlo Masters title.
In June 2011, Nadal equalled Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles, after beating Roger Federer 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-1.
In July 2011, Nadal was beaten in the final at Wimbledon by Novak Djokovic.
In June 2012, he won his seventh French Open, beating Djokovic 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 in the final.
In January 2017, Rafael Nadal lost to Roger Federer 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 in the final of the Australian Open.
However, his win in the China Open in October 2017 was his sixth title of the season, and he was ranked number 1 in the world.
In June 2017, Nadal won his 10th French Open.
In May 2018, Rafael Nadal beat Alexander Zverev to win a record eighth Italian Open.
In July 2018, he continued his run of form winning his 11th French Open.
Nadal cut short his 2018 season with an abdominal muscle problem and to have ankle surgery.
In January 2019, he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open.
Around the same time he announced his engagement to his long-term girlfriend Mery Perello.
Rafael Nadal's uncle Miguel played football for FC Barcelona and won 62 caps for Spain. Ironically, Rafael supports Real Madrid.
Rafael's father, Sebastian, has a restaurant and a glass and windows business.
Since 25 July 2005, Rafael Nadal has consistently been ranked second in the world. Nadal was only the third teenager in history since 1973 to reach the No.2 position - the others being Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg.
Nadal's favourite films are Titanic and Gladiator. According to his official website, Nadal enjoys "playing PSP, soccer and golf, fishing, and going out with his friends in Mallorca".
Rafael Nadal supports the charity Fundacion Iberostar.
Rafael Nadal plays tennis left-handed but off the court is normally right-handed.
Rafael Nadal's girlfriend Francesca Perello was introduced to him by his sister, Maria Isabel.
Until his defeat by Roger Federer in the Hamburg Masters in May 2007, Rafael Nadal had amassed a record run of 81 straight wins on clay.
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