|Height:||185 cm (6' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||June 3, 1986|
|Birth Place:||Manacor, Spain|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|185 cm (6' 1'')||85 kg||Dark Brown||Dark Brown||N/A||N/A|
He played many sports in high school, but had to quit football when homework, football, and tennis conflicted.
When he was 14, the Spanish tennis federation requested that Nadal leave Mallorca and move to Barcelona to continue his tennis training. His family turned down this request, partly because they feared his education would suffer, 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 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.
In 2001, Nadal finished the year with a Challenger series record of 1–1 in singles with no titles or finals appearances. He did not participate in any doubles Challengers events. At ITF Futures, Nadal's record was 7–5 in singles and 1–2 in doubles, with no titles or finals appearances.
Nadal turned professional at age 15, and participated in two events on the ITF junior circuit. On 29 April 2002, at 15 years and 10 months, the world No. 762 Nadal won his first ATP match, defeating Ramón Delgado, and became the ninth player in the Open Era to do so before the age of 16.
In 2002, aged 16, Nadal reached the semifinals of the Boys' Singles tournament at Wimbledon, in his first ITF junior event. In the same year, he helped Spain defeat the US in the final of the Junior Davis Cup in his second, and final, appearance on the ITF junior circuit. Nadal's Challenger level record in 2002 was 4–2 in singles with no titles. He did not participate in any doubles Challengers events. Nadal finished the year with a Futures record of 40–9 in singles and 10–9 in doubles. He won 6 singles tournaments at this level, including 5 on clay and 1 on hard courts. He did not reach any doubles finals.
In 2003, Nadal won two Challenger titles and finished the year ranked No. 49. He won the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award. In his Wimbledon debut in 2003, he became the youngest man to reach the third round since Boris Becker in 1984. After Wimbledon Nadal participated at Bastad, where he lost to Nicolas Lapentti in the quarterfinals, and at Stuttgart, where he lost to Fernando Gonzalez in the Round of 32. Finally, at Umag, he lost to Carlos Moya in the semifinals.
After playing two more Challenger level events, the last Challenger tournaments of his career, Nadal finished his 2003 campaign with three first round losses in ATP events. Nadal also competed in seven doubles tournaments in 2003, and won his first ATP title (doubles or singles) at the clay-court Croatia Open in Umag, where he partnered with Álex López Morón to defeat Todd Perry and Thomas Shimada in straight sets in the final.
128036 Rafaelnadal is a main belt asteroid discovered in 2003 at the Observatorio Astronómico de Mallorca and named after Nadal. The decision to name the asteroid after Nadal was made by the International Astronomical Union in response to a request by the observatory. The asteroid is four kilometers in diameter and travels through space at a speed of 20 km per second."
2004 started with a doubles championship alongside Tommy Robredo at the Maharashtra Open. In singles, Nadal reached the third round of the 2004 Australian Open where he lost in three sets against Australian Lleyton Hewitt. Later that year, the 34th-ranked 17-year-old played the first of many matches against Roger Federer, then ranked No. 1, at the Miami Open, and won in straight sets, before losing to Fernando González in the fourth round. He was one of the six players who defeated Federer that year (along with Tim Henman, Albert Costa, Gustavo Kuerten, Dominik Hrbatý, and Tomáš Berdych). He missed most of the clay court season, including the French Open, because of a stress fracture in his left ankle. In August, Nadal won his first ATP singles title at the Prokom Open by defeating José Acasuso in the final in two sets.
Nadal and compatriot David Ferrer met a total of 32 times, with the total record ending 26–6 (81.3%) in favor of Nadal with Ferrer's retirement. Nadal and Ferrer had met in several prestigious tournaments and important matches. Ferrer won their first meeting in 2004 in Stuttgart in 3 sets, but Nadal went on to win the next four until Ferrer defeated him in the 4th round of the 2007 US Open. The pair met in their first tournament final in 2008, in Barcelona, where Nadal won in three sets. They met a year later again in the Barcelona final, with Nadal taking the title in straight sets. In 2010, the pair met in their first Masters 1000 final in Rome, where Nadal won in straight sets. Ferrer, however, would get his revenge in the 2011 Australian Open quarterfinal, defeating Nadal in straight sets for the first time in a grand slam.
At the 2005 Australian Open, Nadal lost in the fourth round to eventual runner-up Lleyton Hewitt. Two months later, he reached the final of the 2005 Miami Masters, and despite being two points from a straight-sets victory, he was defeated in five sets by No. 1 Roger Federer. Both performances were considered breakthroughs for Nadal.
He then dominated the spring clay-court season. He won 24 consecutive singles matches, breaking Andre Agassi's Open Era record of consecutive match wins for a male teenager. Nadal won the Torneo Conde de Godó in Barcelona and beat 2004 French Open runner-up Guillermo Coria in the finals of the 2005 Monte Carlo Masters and the 2005 Rome Masters. These victories raised his ranking to No. 5 and made him one of the favorites at his career-first French Open. On his 19th birthday, Nadal defeated Federer in the 2005 French Open semifinals, being one of only four players to defeat the top-seeded player that year (along with Marat Safin, Richard Gasquet, and David Nalbandian). Two days later, he defeated Mariano Puerta in the final, becoming the second male player, after Mats Wilander in 1982, to win the French Open on his first attempt. He was the first teenager to win a Grand Slam singles title since Pete Sampras won the 1990 US Open at age 19. Winning improved his ranking to No. 3.
Three days after his victory in Paris, Nadal's 24-match winning streak was snapped in the first round of the grass court Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, where he lost to Alexander Waske. He then lost in the second round of 2005 Wimbledon to Gilles Müller of Luxembourg. Immediately after Wimbledon, Nadal won 16 consecutive matches and three consecutive tournaments, bringing his ranking to No. 2 on 25 July 2005. Nadal started his North American summer hard-court season by defeating Agassi in the final of the 2005 Canada Masters, but lost in the first round of the 2005 Cincinnati Masters. Nadal was seeded second at the 2005 US Open, but was upset in the third round by No. 49 James Blake in four sets.
Both Nadal and Federer won eleven singles titles and four ATP Masters Series titles in 2005. Nadal broke Mats Wilander's previous teenage record of nine in 1983. Nine of Nadal's titles were on clay, and the remainder were on hard courts. Nadal won 79 matches, second only to Federer's 81. Also, he earned the highest year-end ranking ever by a Spaniard and the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year award.
Roger Federer and Nadal have been playing each other since 2004, and their rivalry is a significant part of both men's careers. They held the top two rankings on the ATP Tour from July 2005 to 14 August 2009, and again from 11 September 2017 to 15 October 2018. They are the only pair of men to have ever finished four consecutive calendar years at the top. Nadal ascended to No. 2 in July 2005 and held this spot for a record 160 consecutive weeks before surpassing Federer in August 2008.
Nadal played the Artois Championships at the Queen's Club in London for the second consecutive year. As in 2006, Nadal was upset in the quarterfinals. Nadal then won consecutive five-set matches during the third and fourth rounds of Wimbledon before being beaten by Federer in the five-set final. This was Federer's first five-set match at Wimbledon since 2001. In July, Nadal won the clay court Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, which proved to be his last title of the year. He played three important tournaments during the North American summer hard court season. He was a semifinalist at the Masters Series Rogers Cup in Montreal before losing his first match at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati. He was the second-seeded player at the US Open, but was defeated in the fourth round by David Ferrer.
Nadal and Tomas Berdych met a total of 24 times, with Nadal leading 20–4 (83.3%). Although this rivalry is lopsided mostly in favor of Nadal, the two had some incredible matches in many prestigious tournaments. The pair met at 2 of the 4 grand slams, with 3 meetings at the Australian Open and 2 at Wimbledon, including the 2010 final. Nadal and Berdych first met in an ATP tournament in Båstad, where both men reached the final. Nadal won the match in 3 sets, in what was only his 8th title on the tour. Nadal and Berdych met a few more times in 2005–06, all in Masters 1000 tournaments. Out of their 4 matches, Berdych was able to win in 3, in Canada, Madrid, and Cincinnati. Their first meeting in a Grand Slam came at Wimbledon in 2007. They met in the QF, where Nadal defeated Berdych in straight sets. Their next significant meeting was in the opening round of the 2009 Davis Cup Final, where Nadal again defeated Berdych in straight sets. Spain went on to win the Davis Cup that year.
The creation of the Fundación Rafa Nadal took place in November 2007, and its official presentation was in February 2008, at the Manacor Tennis Club in Mallorca, Spain. The foundation will focus on social work and development aid particularly on childhood and youth. On deciding why to start a foundation, Nadal said "This can be the beginning of my future, when I retire and have more time, [...] I am doing very well and I owe society, [...] A month-and-a-half ago I was in Chennai, in India. The truth is we live great here....I can contribute something with my image..." Nadal was inspired by the Red Cross benefit match against malaria with Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, recalling, "We raised an amount of money that we would never have imagined. I have to thank Iker, my project partner, who went all out for it, [...] That is why the time has come to set up my own foundation and determine the destination of the money."
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nadal defeated Fernando González of Chile in the final to win his first Olympic gold medal.
In June, Nadal entered the AEGON Championships, which he had won in 2008. He was defeated by compatriot Feliciano López in the quarterfinals. At the Wimbledon Championships, he won his first two matches in straight sets. In the third round he needed five sets to defeat Philipp Petzschner. During the match Nadal was warned twice for allegedly receiving coaching from his coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, resulting in a $2,000 fine by Wimbledon officials. He then defeated Andy Murray in the semifinals and Tomáš Berdych in the final to win his second Wimbledon title and his eighth career major title just past the age of 24.
Nadal won his 13th Roland Garros title, beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the tournament's final, only losing seven games. In doing so, he won his 20th Grand Slam title, equalling Roger Federer's record as the man with the most number of Grand Slam titles. It also marked his 100th win at the tournament, losing only twice in 16 years. His straight-sets victory over Djokovic marked also the 4th time that he won a Grand Slam without losing a set, all at the French Open doing it also in 2008, 2010 and 2017.
Nadal has been sponsored by Kia Motors since 2006. He has appeared in advertising campaigns for Kia as a global ambassador for the company. In May 2008, Kia released a claymation viral ad featuring Nadal in a tennis match with an alien. In May 2015, Nadal extended his partnership with Kia for another five years.
By beating Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of the French Open, Nadal set a record of 31 consecutive wins at the French Open, beating the previous record of 28 by Björn Borg. This run came to an end on 31 May 2009, when Nadal lost to eventual runner-up, Robin Söderling in the 4th round. This was Nadal's first and, until 2015, only loss at the French Open. After his surprise defeat in France, Nadal withdrew from the AEGON Championships. It was confirmed that he was suffering from tendinitis in both of his knees. On 19 June, Nadal withdrew from the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, citing his recurring knee injury. Roger Federer went on to win the title, and Nadal consequently dropped back to No. 2 on 6 July 2009.
On 4 August, Toni Nadal confirmed that Nadal would return to play at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. There, he lost in the quarterfinals to Juan Martín del Potro. With this loss, he relinquished the No. 2 spot to Andy Murray on 17 August 2009, ranking outside the top two for the first time since 25 July 2005.
Nadal lost to eventual runner-up Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the French Open, ending his winning streak of 39 consecutive victories in Paris since his defeat by Robin Söderling in 2009. Nadal went on to win the 2015 Mercedes Cup against Serbian Viktor Troicki, his first grass court title since he won at Wimbledon in 2010. He was unable to continue his good form on grass as he lost in the first round of the Aegon Championships to Alexandr Dolgopolov in three sets. Nadal's struggles continued when he lost in the second round of Wimbledon to Dustin Brown.
Novak Djokovic and Nadal have met 56 times (more than any other pair in the Open Era) and Nadal leads 10–6 at the Grand Slams and trails 27–29 overall. Nadal leads on clay 18–7, while Djokovic leads on hard courts 20–7, and they are tied on grass 2–2. In 2009, this rivalry was listed as the third greatest of the previous 10 years by ATPworldtour.com. Djokovic is one of only two players to have at least ten match wins against Nadal (the other being Federer) and the only person to defeat Nadal seven consecutive times, and two times consecutively on clay. The two earlier shared the record for the longest match played in a best of three sets (4 hours and 3 minutes) at the 2009 Mutua Madrid Open semifinals until the match between Roger Federer and Juan Martín del Potro in the London 2012 Olympics Semifinal, which lasted 4 hours and 26 minutes. They have also played in a record 13 Masters Series finals.
He became the face of Lanvin's L'Homme Sport cologne in April 2009. Nadal uses an AeroPro Drive racquet with a 4⁄4-inch L2 grip. As of the 2010 season, Nadal's racquets are painted to resemble the new Babolat AeroPro Drive with Cortex GT racquet in order to market a current model which Babolat sells. Nadal uses no replacement grip, and instead wraps two overgrips around the handle. He used Duralast 15L strings until the 2010 season, when he switched to Babolat's new, black-colored, RPM Blast string. Nadal's rackets are always strung at 55 lb (25 kg), regardless of which surface or conditions he is playing on.
Nadal lived with his parents and younger sister María Isabel in a five-story apartment building in their hometown of Manacor, Mallorca. In June 2009, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, and then The New York Times, reported that his parents, Ana María and Sebastián, had separated. This news came after weeks of speculation in Internet posts and message boards over Nadal's personal issues as the cause of his setback.
At the 2010 US Open, Nadal reached his first final without dropping a set. In the final, he defeated Novak Djokovic in four sets, completing the Career Grand Slam for Nadal; he also became the second male after Andre Agassi to complete a Career Golden Slam. Nadal's US Open victory meant that he also became the first man to win majors on clay, grass, and hard courts in the same year, and the first to win the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969. Nadal's victory also clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for 2010.
Nadal began his Asian tour at the 2010 PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok where he lost to compatriot Guillermo García-López in the semifinals. Nadal was able to regroup, winning the 2010 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo by defeating Gaël Monfils for his seventh title of the season. Nadal next played in the Shanghai Rolex Masters, where he lost to No. 12 Jürgen Melzer in the third round. On 5 November, Nadal announced that he was pulling out of the Paris Masters owing to tendinitis in his left shoulder. On 21 November 2010, in London, Nadal won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the first time.
At the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals in London, Nadal won all of his round-robin matches. In the semifinal, he defeated Murray in three sets, before losing to Roger Federer in the final.
Nadal is, along with Wilander, one of two male tennis players to win at least two Grand Slams on three different surfaces (hard, grass and clay). Nadal is also, along with Agassi, one of two male tennis players to win the Olympic Gold in singles and the four Grand Slams in his career, a feat known as Career Golden Slam. In 2010, Nadal became the only male tennis player to win Grand Slams on three different surfaces (clay, grass and hard courts) the same calendar year. Nadal holds the record for most consecutive years winning a Grand Slam (2005–2014), as well as the record for most outdoor titles (83).
In 2010, luxury watchmaker Richard Mille announced that he had developed an ultra-light wristwatch in collaboration with Nadal called the Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon watch. The watch is made of titanium and lithium and is valued at US$525,000; Nadal was involved in the design and testing of the watch on the tennis court. During the 2010 French Open, Men's Fitness reported that Nadal wore the Richard Mille watch on the court as part of a sponsorship deal with the Swiss watchmaker.
In February 2010, Rafael Nadal was featured in the music video of Shakira's "Gypsy". and part of her album release She Wolf. In explaining why she chose Nadal for the video, Shakira was quoted as saying in an interview with the Latin American Herald Tribune: "I thought that maybe I needed someone I could in some way identify with. And Rafael Nadal is a person who has been totally committed to his career since he was very young. Since he was 17, I believe."
On 16 October 2010, Nadal traveled to India for the first time to visit his tennis academy for underprivileged children at Anantapur Sports Village, in the Anantapur City, Andhra Pradesh. His foundation has also worked in the Anantapur Educational Center project, in collaboration with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation.
Nadal is an avid fan of association football club Real Madrid. On 8 July 2010, it was reported that he had become a shareholder of RCD Mallorca, his local club by birth, in an attempt to assist the club from debt. Nadal reportedly owns 10 percent and was offered the role of vice president, which he rejected. His uncle Miguel Ángel Nadal became assistant coach under Michael Laudrup. Nadal remains a passionate Real Madrid supporter; ESPN.com writer Graham Hunter wrote, "He's as Merengue as [Real Madrid icons] Raúl, Iker Casillas and Alfredo Di Stéfano."
He is a fervent supporter of the Spanish national team, and he was one of six people not affiliated with the team or the national federation allowed to enter the team's locker room following Spain's victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final.
Nadal started 2011 by participating in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. In the final, he won over Roger Federer. At the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, he fell in straight sets Nikolay Davydenko in the semifinals. He and countryman López won the doubles title by defeating Daniele Bracciali and Andreas Seppi.
In March, Nadal helped Spain defeat Belgium in a 2011 Davis Cup World Group first-round tie in the Spiroudome in Charleroi, Belgium. Nadal defeated Ruben Bemelmans and Olivier Rochus. At both the 2011 BNP Paribas Open and the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, Nadal reached the final and lost to Novak Djokovic in three sets. This was the first time Nadal reached the finals of Indian Wells and Miami in the same year.
At Wimbledon, Nadal reached the final after three four-set matches. This set up a final against No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who had beaten Nadal in all four of their matches in 2011. After dropping the third set, Djokovic defeated Nadal in the fourth. Djokovic's success at the tournament also meant that the Serb overtook Nadal as world No. 1. After resting for a month from a foot injury sustained during Wimbledon, he contested the 2011 Rogers Cup, where he was beaten by Croatian Ivan Dodig in the quarterfinals. He next played in the 2011 Cincinnati Masters, where he lost to Mardy Fish, again in the quarterfinals.
At the 2011 US Open, Nadal made headlines when after defeating David Nalbandian in the fourth round, he collapsed in his post-match press conference because to severe cramps. He again lost in four sets to Novak Djokovic in the final. After the US Open, Nadal made the final of the Japan Open Tennis Championships. Nadal, who was the 2010 champion, was defeated by Andy Murray. At the Shanghai Masters, he was upset in the third round by No. 23 ranked Florian Mayer. At the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals, Nadal was defeated by Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the round-robin stage, and was subsequently eliminated from the tournament. In the Davis Cup final in December, he helped Spain win the title with victories over Juan Mónaco and Juan Martín del Potro.
In the 2011 Wimbledon final, Djokovic won in four sets for his first Grand Slam final victory over Nadal. Djokovic also defeated Nadal in the 2011 US Open Final. In 2012, Djokovic defeated Nadal in the Australian Open final for a third consecutive Grand Slam final win over Nadal. This is the longest Grand Slam tournament final in Open era history at 5 hours, 53 minutes. Nadal won their last three 2012 meetings in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters, Rome Masters and French Open in April, May, and June 2012, respectively. In 2013, Djokovic defeated Nadal in straight sets in the final at Monte Carlo, ending Nadal's record eight consecutive titles there, but Nadal got revenge at the French Open in an epic five-setter 9–7 in the fifth. In August 2013, Nadal won in Montreal, denying Djokovic his fourth Rogers Cup title. Nadal also defeated Djokovic in the 2013 US Open Final.
Nadal and Andy Murray have met on 24 occasions since 2007, with Nadal leading 17–7. Nadal leads 7–2 on clay, 3–0 on grass, and 7–5 on hard courts (including 4–4 on outdoor courts, but Nadal leads 3–1 on indoor hard courts), but trails 1–3 in finals. The pair once met regularly at Grand Slam level, with nine out of their 23 meetings coming in Grand Slams, with Nadal leading 7–2 (3–0 at Wimbledon, 2–0 at the French Open, 1–1 at the Australian Open, and 1–1 at the US Open). Seven of these nine appearances have been in quarterfinals and semifinals, making the rivalry an important part of both men's careers. Nadal defeated Murray in three consecutive Grand Slam semifinals in 2011 from the French Open to the US Open. They have never met in a Grand Slam final, but Murray leads 3–1 in ATP finals, with Nadal winning at Indian Wells in 2009 and Murray winning in Rotterdam the same year, Tokyo in 2011, and Madrid in 2015.
After a long span of injuries with both players, the pair met in a Grand Slam for the first time since the R16 at Wimbledon in 2011 at the 2017 US Open. Del Potro, facing Nadal after a victory in 4 sets against Federer, made it to the SF of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2013. However, the Spaniard got the better of him in that encounter, beating Del Potro in 4 sets. The pair then met in 3 of the 4 grand slam events in 2018, including a memorable match at the 2018 Wimbledon QF. The match went on for close to 5 hours, with Nadal coming out on top, 7–5, 6–7, 4–6, 6–4, 6–4. The pair had another meeting at the 2018 US Open, during which Nadal was forced to retire against Del Potro in the SF. Del Potro then went on to his first grand slam final since his victory in the 2009 US Open. He ended up losing in the final in straight sets to Novak Djokovic.
Nadal's autobiography, Rafa (Hyperion, 2012, ISBN 1-4013-1092-3), written with assistance from John Carlin, was published in August 2011. Nadal has been in a relationship with María Francisca (Mery) Perelló Pascual (often mistakenly referred to as Xisca in the press) since 2005, and their engagement was reported in January 2019. The couple married in October 2019.
As the clay court season started, Nadal was seeded 2nd at the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. In the final he topped No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win his 8th consecutive Monte Carlo trophy. This ended a streak of seven straight final losses to Djokovic. A day after the Monte Carlo final, Nadal traveled to Barcelona where he received a bye in the first round. His tremendous record on clay continued as he beat compatriot David Ferrer in a three-set final to clinch his seventh title in eight years at the Barcelona Open. At the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open Nadal surprisingly lost to Fernando Verdasco, whom he held a 13–0 record against. He heavily criticized the new blue-colored clay and threatened not to attend in the future if the surface was not changed back to red clay. Several other players such as Novak Djokovic voiced similar criticism. In the last tournament before the French Open, Nadal defeated Djokovic in a tight straight set final. This was his second victory over Novak Djokovic in 2012 and his third title of the season, as well as his 6th Rome title overall.
At the 2012 French Open, Nadal dropped only 30 games against his first five opponents. In the semifinals he dismantled Ferrer to set up another final against Novak Djokovic. This marked the first time two opposing players faced each other in four consecutive Grand Slam finals. Nadal won the first two sets before Djokovic claimed the third. Play was suspended in the fourth set due to rain. When the match resumed the following day, Nadal won when Djokovic double faulted on match point, sealing a record 7th French Open title for Nadal. By winning his seventh title at Stade Roland-Garros, Nadal surpassed Borg's overall titles record to become the most successful male player in French Open history. Nadal lost a total of only three sets in the 2012 clay court season.
In July 2012, Nadal withdrew from the 2012 Olympics owing to tendinitis in his knee, which subsequently led to him pulling out of both the Rogers Cup and the Cincinnati Masters. He later withdrew from the rest of the 2012 season, as he felt he still was not healthy enough to compete. Nadal ended 2012 ranked No. 4 in the world, the first time in eight years that he has not been ranked 1st or 2nd at the end of the year.
Their next meeting in a final came at a Grand Slam, in Wimbledon. Nadal had reached his 4th Wimbledon final, in an attempt to win his second title. Berdych had reached his first Grand Slam final, defeating Roger Federer in 4 sets in the quarterfinal and Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the SF. However the Spaniard was too good for the Czech in the final, and Nadal won in straight sets to take his 8th Grand Slam title. Their next meeting in a Grand Slam came only two years later in the 2012 Australian Open quarterfinal, where Nadal won in 4 tight sets. Nadal would later go on to lose the final to Djokovic in 5 sets. After multiple meetings from 2012 to 2014, all of which were won by Nadal, the pair met again at the 2015 Australian Open quarterfinal. Here, after 18 straight losses over 9 years, Berdych was able to claim a win over Nadal, and his only in a Grand Slam against the Spaniard. Berdych won the match in straight sets, including a bagel (6–0) in the second. The two met later in 2015 in Madrid, where Nadal won in straight sets.
In June 2012, Nadal joined the group of sports endorsers of the PokerStars online poker cardroom. Nadal won a charity poker tournament against retired Brazilian football player Ronaldo in 2014.
Nadal and Stan Wawrinka have met 20 times, with Nadal leading 17–3 (85.0%). Although this rivalry has less significance than rivalries with the other members of the Big Four, the pair have met in several prestigious tournaments. The rivalry saw Nadal winning the first 12 encounters, all in straight sets, including 2 finals, one of which is a Masters 1000 final at Madrid in 2013. However, since Wawrinka's breakthrough season in 2013 the pair has won an almost equal number of matches against each other (3–4) from 2014 onward. Wawrinka scored his first win against Nadal in their most important encounter, the 2014 Australian Open final in 4 sets, denying Nadal's double career slam. It was also the only match between the pair not resulting in a straight set win for either player. Nadal won their second Grand Slam final, at the 2017 French Open.
Their biggest meeting, came in the 2013 French Open final. Ferrer was in his first major final, whereas Nadal was aiming for his 8th title at Roland Garros, and 13th overall. It was a straightforward victory for Nadal, 6–3, 6–2, 6–3. Between that meeting and 2015, Ferrer and Nadal would go on to play 6 more matches, with Nadal winning 4 of the 6.
Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro have met 17 times, with Nadal leading 11–6 (64.7%). Outside the Big 4, no active player has more wins against Nadal than Del Potro. The two have met in many prestigious tournaments, including at 3 of the 4 grand slams. Nadal won their first four meetings between 2007 and 2009, however Del Potro went on to win the next three, including a straight sets victory at the 2009 US Open SF (he later went on to win the tournament after defeating Roger Federer in the final. Their next major meeting came during the 2011 Davis Cup final. Nadal went on to beat Del Potro in 4 sets to claim the Davis Cup for Spain, their fourth since 2004. Nadal in 2013 also denied Del Potro his first Masters 1000 title, with a victory in 3 sets at the 2013 Indian Wells Masters. However, Del Potro got his revenge, and had one of his most important victories against Nadal in the SF of the 2016 Summer Olympics, beating him in three close sets (culminating with a tie break). Del Potro went on to claim the silver medal.
Nadal began his clay court season with a quarterfinal loss to David Ferrer in the Monte-Carlo Masters. He was stunned by Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open. Nadal then won his 27th masters title at the Madrid Open after Kei Nishikori retired in the third set of the final. On 8 June 2014, Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in the Men's Singles French Open final to win his 9th French Open title and a 5th straight win. Nadal equaled Pete Sampras' total of 14 Grand Slam wins. Nadal then lost in the second round of the Halle Open to Dustin Brown the following week.
Nadal defeated Djokovic in the 2014 French Open final. Djokovic then won seven consecutive meetings including a win in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the 2015 French Open which ended Nadal's 39-match win streak at Stade Roland-Garros and an opportunity for a sixth consecutive title, with Djokovic becoming only the second player after Robin Söderling to defeat Nadal at the event. Nadal easily defeated Djokovic in the 2017 Madrid Open semifinals (6–2, 6–4), his first victory against the Serb since the 2014 French Open. When they next met Nadal beat Djokovic again, this time on clay in the 2018 Rome semifinals. They then met in the 2018 Wimbledon semifinals, where Djokovic finally emerged victorious after a battle lasting over five hours that was spread over two days and went to 10–8 in the fifth set. Then in the 2019 Australian Open final, Djokovic easily won in straight sets, marking Nadal's first straight-sets loss in a Grand Slam final. But in the 2019 Rome Masters final, it was Nadal who defeated the Serbian in three sets, and also featured the first time either of them (Nadal) got a 6–0 win in a set.
In addition to tennis and football, Nadal enjoys playing golf and poker. In April 2014, he played the world's No. 1 female poker player, Vanessa Selbst, in a poker game in Monaco. In October 2020, Nadal competed in the professional-level Balearic Golf Championship, obtaining a World Amateur Golf Ranking in the process.
After signing the new coach Carlos Moyá in December 2016, Nadal's game style acquired a more offensive approach. Under the direction of Carlos Moyá, Nadal improved his serve, and also incorporated serve-and-volley as a surprise tactic in some of his matches.
Nadal lost in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, 13–15 in the fifth set, to Gilles Müller. He returned to competition in Montreal. He won his first match against Coric in straight sets but fell in the Round of 16 to Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov. By 21 August, he retook the ATP No. 1 ranking from Andy Murray. Nadal earned his third US Open title against first-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson, winning the final in straight sets. This marked the first time that Nadal had captured two Grand Slam tournaments in a year since 2013, and the second time since 2010. Nadal extended his winning streak by winning the China Open, winning the final against Nick Kyrgios in straight sets. On 11 September 2017, Nadal and Garbiñe Muguruza made Spain the first country since the United States 14 years ago to simultaneously top both the ATP and the WTA rankings, with Muguruza making her debut in the No. 1 spot.
In April 2017, the centre court of the Barcelona Open was named Pista Rafa Nadal.
In 2018, Ferrer announced that the US Open would be his last Grand Slam tournament, and he would retire the next year in the clay court season in Spain. Nadal and Ferrer had their first meeting since 2015 in the first round in the US Open. Ferrer's final grand slam match, however, ended in injury as he was forced to retire in the 2nd set against Nadal. Yet, in his second to last tournament in Barcelona, he would have one more meeting with Nadal. Although it was a straight sets victory it was a close match until the end, with the resilient Ferrer fighting until the last point. The overall score was 6–3, 6–3 in the final match between the two before Ferrer's retirement at the 2019 Madrid Open.
Rafael Nadal opened his tennis academy centre to Majorca flood victims in October 2018. By that time he was recovering at home in Majorca, shortly after having to leave the US Open due to injury and one day after the flood he worked personally with some friends to help the victims.
After defeating Hyeon Chung in the second round of the Paris Masters Nadal secured the year-end No. 1. He became year-end No. 1 for the fourth time in his career, tying him for fourth all-time with Novak Djokovic, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe, behind Pete Sampras (6), and Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors (5). By securing the year-end no. 1 ranking, Nadal became the first player aged over 30 to finish as year-end No. 1 and the first to finish in the top spot four years since he last achieved the feat; he also broke a number of other historical records, all of which he broke again in 2019.
At the 2019 ATP Finals, Nadal played in the Andre Agassi group and defeated Tsitsipas and Medvedev in the round-robin stage, but it was not enough to progress to the semifinals. Despite his elimination, Nadal secured the year-end no. 1 ranking when Djokovic was also eliminated in the round-robin stage. This was Nadal's fifth time as the year-end no. 1 player, drawing level with Jimmy Connors, Federer and Djokovic behind Pete Sampras (six), and in doing so, he broke a number of the records he set in 2017:
At the 2019 Davis Cup Finals, Nadal helped Spain win its sixth Davis Cup title. Nadal won all eight of his matches in singles and doubles, extending his winning streak in Davis Cup singles matches to 29 (29–1 record overall) without dropping a set or losing a game on serve; he also won the tournament's most valuable player award.
After a long gap of 4 years, Nadal and Berdych’s last encounter was at the 2019 Australian Open R16. After both players had prematurely ended their 2018 seasons with injuries, both had been playing very well in the 2019 season up to that point, with Berdych reaching the final in Doha. However, like many of their meetings, Nadal dominated the Czech and beat him in straight sets. Berdych retired at the end of the 2019 season.
On November 9, 2020, Nadal officially passed Jimmy Connors for the most consecutive weeks in the Top 10 on the FedEx ATP Rankings as he has now spent a total of 790 consecutive weeks among the tennis elite. Ninety-three percent (93%) of his time in the Top 10 has been spent in the Top 5 as in addition to his 209 weeks as World No. 1, Nadal has also spent 351 weeks (including a record 160 consecutive weeks) as World No. 2, 57 weeks as World No. 3, 54 weeks as World No. 4 and 66 weeks as World No. 5.. Nadal has also been Year-end World No. 1 five (5) times (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019) and was Year-end No. 2 seven (7) times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2018, 2020)
Currently, Rafael Nadal is 36 years, 5 months and 27 days old. Rafael Nadal will celebrate 37th birthday on a Saturday 3rd of June 2023.
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