Point / Counterpoint
Keeping It Simple with Blair Henley
Grand Slam Winners
> Nadal, Rafael
Rafael Nadal - Spain
Manacor, Mallorca, Spain
Manacor, Mallorca, Spain
6'1\ (185 cm)"
188 lbs (85 kg)
Year Turned Pro:
BABOLAT 2013 Aeropro Drive GT Tennis Racquet
NIKE Men`s Lunar Ballistec Tennis Shoes Laser Crimson
NIKE Men`s Premier Rafa Tennis Crew Light Crimson and Silver
NIKE Men`s Gladiator Premier 7 Inch Tennis Short Base Gray
BABOLAT Aero Tennis Racquet Holder X12
On the Court
Turned pro in 2001, playing two Futures events at age 15. Made his ATP debut at Mallorca in April of 2002 and defeated No. 81 Ramon Delgado 6-4, 6-4 in the first round while ranked No. 762 in the world. Played Futures and Challenger events the rest of the year. Expanded his playing schedule to more ATP events in 2003 and finished the year ranked No. 48 in the world with a 14-11 record. Made his Masters 1000 debut at Monaco and upset No. 7 Albert Costa in the second round to enter the Top 100 for the first time. A month later, he upset No. 4 Carlos Moya at Hamburg. His Grand Slam debut came at Wimbledon and he powered his way to the third round. Finished just outside the Top 50 in 2004, but improved his record to 30-17 and won his first ATP title. Reached his first ATP final in 2004 at Auckland, upsetting No. 16 Sjeng Schalken in the first round and No. 14 Jiri Novak in the semifinals. Reached the third round at the Australian Open to reach No. 40 in the world. At the Miami Masters 1000, faced off with No. 1 Roger Federer for the first time and scored a 6-3, 6-3 victory in the third round. Came through with his first tour victory at Sopot on clay, defeating Jose Acasuso 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Defeated No. 2 Andy Roddick in the finals of the Davis Cup, as Spain won the title. Had perhaps the most remarkable breakthrough season of all-time in 2005, winning 11 titles and racking up 79 wins against just 10 losses, accumulating $3.8 million in prize money. Started the season 2-2 before reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, then lost to No. 8 Gaston Gaudio in the Buenos Aires quarterfinals. Would win 46 of his final 47 matches on clay, split in half by his 19th birthday, one of the most staggering accomplishments in Open Era play. Won Costa Do Sauipe and Acapulco back to back, then reached the finals on hardcourt at Miami, falling to Federer in a five-set clash to end his win streak at 15, but entered the Top 20 for the first time. Lost in the clay court quarterfinals at Valencia to Igor Andreev, then bounced back to win Monte Carlo, his first Masters 1000, defeating two Top 10 players along the way. Won Barcelona to climb to No. 7, then the Rome Masters to reach No. 5. At Roland Garros, dismantled No. 1 Federer in four sets in the semifinals, then defeated wild card Mariano Puerta in the final for his first Grand Slam victory to climb to No. 3. Nadal's 24-match win streak was the longest by a male player under 20 years old in the Open Era. He went on to win Bastad and Stuttgart to rise to No. 2 in the world, then added the Rogers Cup - his first non-clay title. He ended the year with wins at Beijing and Madrid, but was forced to miss the Tennis Masters Cup with an injury. Nadal played a slighter schedule in 2006, and his wins and titles both diminished, to 59 and 5, respectively, but he went wire to wire as No. 2 in the world. He missed the first month of the season, then won Dubai over Federer in February. Once the clay court season began, he shook off whatever rust there had been, winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros in order, beating Federer in the final in all but Barcelona. Just after his 20th birthday, he made the finals at Wimbledon, falling to Federer in four sets. he went on to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open and the semifinals of the Tennis Masters Cup. Nadal won 70 matches for the second time in three seasons in 2007, accruing $5.6 million in winnings and winning six titles. He won Indian Wells for the first time in March, then started his now annual clay court sprint with victories at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome. Federer knocked him off in the Hamburg final, but Nadal got revenge with another win at the French Open. He reached the Wimbledon final again and pushed Federer to five sets before falling. He won Stuttgart to end the season 70-15. In 2008, Nadal added the second leg of the career Grand Slam to his resume, added a gold medal and took over the No. 1 ranking in the world, breaking Federer's four-year stranglehold on the spot. he finished the season 82-11 with eight titles. His first title of the year didn't come until Monte Carlo in early May, but he then quickly added Barcelona, Hamburg and another French Open - this time not even losing a set during the tournament - and demolishing Federer 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in the final. As the season changed to grass, Nadal stayed hot, winning Queen's Club, then facing off against Federer at Wimbledon in the final for a third straight year, In what is often thought to be the greatest Grand Slam final ever, Nadal secure his first All England Club title with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7 win. Nadal added the title at Rogers Cup and ultimately ran his win streak to 32 matches in a row before falling to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at Cincinnati. He came back strong and won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, and those 800 points propelled him to No. 1 in the world, a rank he would keep the rest of the year. Nadal fell back to No. 2 in 2009, thanks in large part to an injury that saw him miss 2-1/2 months and fail to be present to defend his title at Wimbledon. He began the season by winning the Australian Open for the first time, winning a five-set final from Federer. He added a title at Indian Wells, and three more at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome before being upset by Federer in the final at Madrid on clay. It was a sign of things to come as his four-year reign as French Open champion came to an abrupt end at the hands of Robin Soderling in the fourth round. Did not play again until the Rogers Cup in August, by which time he had fallen to No. 2 in the world. Slipped to No. 3 during the US Open Series, but reached the semifinals at Flushing Meadows to regain No. 2. Helped Spain to the Davis Cup title at year's end. Soared to new heights in 2010 as he stayed relatively injury free and completed his career Grand Slam. Finished the season 71-10 with seven titles and just over $10 million in prize money. Reached at least the quarterfinals of his first four events, but retired in the final eight against Murray at the Australian Open to once again drop back to No. 3. First win of the season came at Monte Carlo, a tournament in which he did not lose a single set, nor more than four games in any set. Added titles at Rome and Madrid to retake No. 2, then regained his crown at Roland Garros by sweeping Soderling in the final, the man who had upset him in the fourth round in 2009. This got Nadal back to No. 1 in the world for the first time in two years. A few weeks later, won Wimbledon for the second time by sweeping Tomas Berdych in the final. After struggling a bit in the US Open Series, he regained top form and won the US Open for the first time ever, completing both the career Grand Slam and the Golden Slam with a four-set victory over Djokovic. In doing so, he joined Rod Laver, Andre Agassi and Federer as the only men to complete the career Slam in the Open Era. He also became the first man since Laver in 1969 to win the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in succession in the same year. Added a victory at Tokyo down the stretch. Despite another fine season, was eclipsed by Djokovic as world No. 1 in 2011. Finished the year 69-15 with three titles and $7.6 million in prize money. Won Barcelona and Monte Carlo, but was beaten by Djokovic in four straight finals, including Rome and Madrid. Held onto the No. 1 ranking by repeating as French Open champion, edging Federer in the final. Lost the Wimbledon final to Djokovic to fall back to No. 2 in the world. Lost to Djokovic again at the US Open final, but did help Spain win the Davis Cup final over Argentina. Injuries cut a promising 2012 start short and saw Nadal finish outside the Top 2 for the first time since 2004. Finished the year 42-6 with four titles, but did not play after Wimbledon. Reached the Australian Open final, losing to Djokovic in five sets. Won Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and defeated Djokovic in the finals at Rome and Roland Garros, snapping a seven-match losing streak to the Serb. At Wimbledon, was shocked in the second round by No. 100 Lukas Rosol and did not play again the rest of the season due to injuries. Fell to No. 5 by the end of the year, unable to defend his points.
Grand Slam Singles Titles (12):
Australian Open (2009)French Open (2005-2008, 2010-2013) Wimbledon (2008, 2010) US Open (2010)
Year-End Singles Rankings:
2013: 1 2012: 5 2011: 2 2010: 1 2009: 2 2008: 1 2007: 2 2006: 2 2005: 2 2004: 51 2003: 49 2002: 200
Off the Court
Full name is Rafael Nadal Parera. Has played since age four and has been coached by his uncle, Toni Nadal, a former professional soccer player. His father and two brothers own a restaurant, Su Punta. Has a younger sister named Maria Isabel. Opened the Rafael Nadal Tennis School in Anantpur, India, in 2010.
TENNIS NOW TV
Daily News Vlog
Catching Up With...
Tennis Lessons Online with Tom Avery
Fuzzy Yellow Balls - Video Tennis Lessons
Tennis Express - Racquets, Shoes, and Apparel