Rafael Nadal
Spanish tennis player
Rafael Nadal
Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera is a Spanish professional tennis player and a former world no. 1. As of 24 December 2012 (2012 -12-24), he is ranked no. 4 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time; his success on clay has earned him the nickname "The King of Clay", and has prompted several experts to regard him as the greatest clay court player in history.
Rafael Nadal's personal information overview.
News abour Rafael Nadal from around the web
Uncle to Step Down as Rafael Nadal’s Coach After the Season
NYTimes - 9 days
Toni Nadal told an Italian tennis magazine that he had lost some of his influence to other figures in the player’s entourage.
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NYTimes article
Rafael Nadal skips Rotterdam to rest after Australian Open
Yahoo News - 13 days
Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will sit out the upcoming Rotterdam Open after doctors told him he needed rest after his run to the Australian Open final. "I'm very sorry I won't be able to play but the Australian Open took a lot out of me," Nadal said.
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Yahoo News article
Tennis-Resurgent Nadal returns to Queen's Club
Yahoo News - 16 days
A resurgent Rafael Nadal will warm up for Wimbledon by returning to The Queen's Club for the Aegon Championships in June. The 14-times grand slam champion missed the entire grasscourt season last year with a wrist injury but after finishing runner-up to Roger Federer at the Australian Open, he hopes a good run in west London will bode well in his pursuit of a third Wimbledon title. "I am very happy to be coming back to Queen's.... It is the best way for me to be ready for Wimbledon," the Spanish left-hander said in a statement.
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Yahoo News article
Tennis can't lose Federer, Nadal -- just yet
CNN - 22 days
It was only a few minutes after his Australian Open victory over Rafael Nadal, but already Roger Federer was thinking about the future of the game he loves so dearly.
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CNN article
Rafael Nadal out of Davis Cup after grueling Australian Open
Yahoo News - 23 days
MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal is taking some time off after his Australian Open final loss to Roger Federer.
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Yahoo News article
Clay season can be special, says Nadal - Independent Online
Google News - 24 days
Independent Online Clay season can be special, says Nadal Independent Online Rafael Nadal did well to take the Australian Open final to five sets after a marathon semi-final on Friday. Photo: Jason Reed, Reuters. MELBOURNE – Rafa Nadal's hopes of a 15th Grand Slam title were crushed by an inspired Roger Federer in the ... Federer defends timeout after 'legal cheating' claimSport24 Roger Federer is peerless but he and Rafael Nadal have made each other greatThe Guardian (blog) Roger Federer didn't think in 'wildest dreams' he'd reach Aussie Open finalCNN Tennis World -SkySports -Mirror.co.uk -Irish Times all 3,416 news articles »
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Google News article
Federer vs. Nadal: Most important match in grand slam history?
CNN - 25 days
There's a lot at stake when giants Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal face off at the Australian Open, their first grand slam final together in six years.
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CNN article
Is there life after Roger and Rafa?
Reuters.com - 26 days
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The performances of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal in reaching the final of this year's Australian Open have served a timely reminder as to what men's tennis was missing when both were sidelined last year.
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Reuters.com article
Rafael Nadal wins to set up Australian Open classic final against Roger Federer
LATimes - 26 days
Rafael Nadal fended off Grigor Dimitrov in five long sets to set up a vintage title match against Roger Federer at the Australian Open, where every singles finalist is age 30 or over. Nadal completed the 30-plus finals quartet Friday night when he defeated Dimitrov, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4),...
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LATimes article
Nadal's Grand Slam revival faces threat from in-form Dimitrov
Yahoo News - 27 days
Rafael Nadal's stirring Grand Slam revival faces a threat from the in-form Grigor Dimitrov as he attempts to reach his first major final in two-and-a-half years at the Australian Open. The 30-year-old Spaniard has been out of the Grand Slam limelight since his last title success at Roland Garros in 2014, as injuries sidetracked his glorious career. Dimitrov, five years younger than Nadal, was once hailed as a future champion and nicknamed 'Baby Fed' owing to his Roger Federer-style court movement and single-handed backhand.
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Yahoo News article
Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov End Grand Slam Semifinal Droughts
NYTimes - 28 days
Nadal dominated third-seeded Milos Raonic, and will face Dimitrov, who beat David Goffin, in an Australian Open semifinal.
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NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rafael Nadal
  • 2016
    Age 29
    At the US Open Nadal was seeded #4 and advanced to the fourth round but was defeated by 24th seed Lucas Pouille in 5 sets, the defeat means that 2016 is the first year since 2004 in which Nadal, 30, has failed to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final.
    More Details Hide Details 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 until 14 August 2009, when Nadal fell to world No. 3 (Andy Murray became the new No. 2). 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. They have played 34 times, and Nadal leads their head-to-head series 23–11 overall and 9–2 in Grand Slam tournaments. Federer has a winning record on grass (2–1) and indoor hard courts (5–1) while Nadal leads the outdoor hard courts by 8–2 and clay by 13–2.
    At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Nadal achieved 800 career wins with his quarter-final victory over Thomaz Bellucci.
    More Details Hide Details Also, on 12 August, he along with Marc Lopez won the gold medal in men's doubles event for Spain beating Romania's Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau. This makes Nadal only the second man in the open era to have won gold medals in both singles and doubles. Nadal also advanced to the bronze medal match in the men's singles but was defeated by Japan's Kei Nishikori.
    On 9 June, Nadal announced that the same wrist injury that forced him to withdraw from the French Open needed more time to heal, and that he would not play at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.
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    He equalled Guillermo Vilas's all-time record of 49 clay court titles by winning the Barcelona Open in 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, Balearic Islands, Spain, to 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.
  • 2015
    Age 28
    It was only the second time that Murray has won over Nadal on clay, the first one being in 2015 Madrid final.
    More Details Hide Details In the following week, Nadal played in Rome Masters where he reached the quarterfinal. Nadal was again defeated by Djokovic in straight sets, 7:5 7:6(4), although he had break advantage in both sets and served to win the second. Following Federer's withdrawal due to injury, Nadal was named the fourth seed at Roland Garros. On 26 May, he became only the eighth male player in tennis history to record 200 Grand Slam match wins, as he defeated Facundo Bagnis in straight sets in the second round of the Slam. Following the victory, however, Nadal had to withdraw from competition owing to an injury to his left wrist suffered during the tournament, handing Marcel Granollers a walk-over into the fourth round.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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. In early September, Nadal once again faced Fognini, and again was defeated by the player from Italy, losing in the third round at Arthur Ashe Stadium. In that match, Nadal won the first two sets, and previously had been 151-0 in Grand Slam matches that he led two sets to none. Earning 70 winners, Fognini ended up beating Nadal in five sets. Consequently, the early exit in Flushing Meadows ended Nadal's record 10-year streak of winning at least one major, and leaving him one year short of the record 11-year streak of reaching at least one major final (shared by Lendl and Sampras).
  • 2014
    Age 27
    Later, he was upset by Borna Ćorić at the quarterfinals of the 2014 Swiss Indoors.
    More Details Hide Details After the loss, he announced that he would skip the rest of the season to undergo surgery for his appendix. Nadal began the year as the defending Champion at Qatar, but suffered a shocking three set defeat to Michael Berrer in round one of the Qatar Open. He won the doubles title with Juan Mónaco. At the Australian Open, Nadal beat Mikhail Youzhny in the first round in straight sets, before prevailing in a tough five-setter against American Tim Smyczek in the second round, despite being visibly unwell at times during the game. He then beat Dudi Sela and Kevin Anderson in straight sets to advance to his 28th career quarterfinal. Nadal lost in straight sets to Tomáš Berdych in the quarterfinal, thus ending a 17-match winning streak against the seventh-seeded Czech. In February, Nadal lost in the semifinals to Fabio Fognini at the Rio Open, before going on to win his 46th career clay-court title against Juan Mónaco at the Argentina Open. Nadal then participated at the Indian Wells and Miami Open but suffered early defeats to Milos Raonic and Fernando Verdasco, in the quarterfinals and third round respectively. Nadal then began his summer clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters and reached the semifinals where he lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. After losing to Fognini again at the Barcelona Open quarterfinals, Nadal entered the Madrid Open as the two-time defending champion but lost in the final to Andy Murray in straight sets, resulting in his dropping out of the top five for the first time since 2005.
    At the 2014 Shanghai Rolex Masters, he was suffering from appendicitis.
    More Details Hide Details He lost his opening match to Feliciano Lopez in straight sets.
    Nadal withdrew from the American swing owing to a wrist injury. He made his return at the 2014 China Open but was defeated in the quarterfinals by Martin Klizan in three sets.
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    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 at Roland Garros.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal dropped the first set but came back in the game to win the next three sets to lift the trophy. Nadal equaled Pete Sampras' total of 14 Grand Slam wins, the second highest number of single Grand Slam titles after Roger Federer. Nadal lost in the second round of the Halle Open to Dustin Brown the following week. Nadal then entered the Wimbledon Championships in a bid to win the tournament for the third time and to win his 15th Grand Slam title overall. In the first three rounds he faced Martin Kližan, Lukáš Rosol (to whom he suffered a shock defeat at the same stage of the tournament two years earlier) and Mikhail Kukushkin. In each of these matches he lost the first set before taking command and winning them in four sets. In the fourth round he faced Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios (ranked 143 places lower than Nadal) and again lost the first set, but despite winning the second set, he was unable to turn the tide and eventually lost in four sets.
    It was announced in February 2014 that "After compiling one of the greatest comeback seasons on the ATP World Tour in 2013, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is a contender to be nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award."
    More Details Hide Details At the Australian Open, he defeated Roger Federer to reach his third Australian Open final, improving his career record against Federer to 23–10. This marked Nadal's 11th consecutive victory in a Major semifinal (second only to Borg's all-time record of 14), and advanced him to his 19th Major final, tying him with Lendl for second all-time behind Federer's 24. It also marked Nadal's sixth consecutive victory over Federer in a Major. In the final, he faced Stanislas Wawrinka, against whom he entered the match with a 12–0 record, having won all of their previous 26 sets. After losing the first set, Nadal suffered a back injury down 2–0 in the second set, and although he won a set, he lost the match in four sets. The first tournament he played after that was the inaugural Rio Open which he won after defeating Alexandr Dolgopolov in the final extending his record of ATP 500 titles to 15. However, at the Indian Wells Masters, Dolgopolov would avenge his loss, defeating Nadal in three sets in the third round. He reached the final of the Miami Masters before falling to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
    Rafael Nadal began his 2014 season at the Qatar Open in Doha, defeating Lukáš Rosol in the first round and he won the title after defeating Gaël Monfils in the final.
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  • 2013
    Age 26
    In November 2013, Nadal played his final event of the season in London at the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals where he secured the year end World Number One spot.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal beat David Ferrer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomáš Berdych in the Round Robin stage to set up a semifinal and victory over Roger Federer. Nadal met Djokovic in the final, losing in straight sets.
    At the 2013 Shanghai Rolex Masters, Nadal reached the semifinals but was defeated by Del Potro.
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    Nadal concluded a brilliant North American hard court season with his 4th hard court title of the year, defeating Djokovic at the 2013 US Open final in four sets, bringing his Slam count to 13 and giving Nadal a male tennis record paycheck of $3.6 million.
    More Details Hide Details Later in September, Nadal helped Spain secure their Davis Cup World Group Playoff spot for 2014, with a victory against Sergiy Stakhovsky and a doubles win with Marc Lopez. In October, he reached the final of the China Open, guaranteeing he would become world number one for the third time after losing it in July 2011. In the final, he was beaten by Djokovic in straight sets.
    In August 2013, Nadal won the semifinal match in Montreal, denying Djokovic his fourth Rogers Cup title.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal proceeded to win the title after beating Milos Raonic in the final in straight sets. This was Nadal's 25th Masters 1000 title and third title at the Canadian Open. He won his 26th ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati on Sunday 18 August after beating John Isner in the final.
    Nadal then lost his first-round match at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships in straight sets to unseeded Belgian Steve Darcis (ranked No. 135), making it the second time in a row he failed to reach the third round at Wimbledon and the first ever time Nadal had lost in the first round of a Grand Slam.
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    Nadal won the 2013 French Open after beating Djokovic in the semifinal and Ferrer in the final, breaking the record for the most match wins in the tournament in the process with his 59th match victory.
    More Details Hide Details His match with Djokovic was widely considered one of the greatest clay court matches ever played, as Nadal came back from down a break in the fifth set to take out a hard-fought 4-hour, 37-minute victory. However, because of the nuances of how rankings are calculated (including an improvement in performance by the then world No. 5 David Ferrer at the French Open), Nadal's world ranking dropped from No. 4 to No. 5, with Ferrer replacing him at No. 4.
    In May, he won his record 24th Masters 1000 title, beating Roger Federer for his 7th championship at the 2013 Rome Masters.
    More Details Hide Details It was his 6th title of the season and his eighth consecutive final. These victories raised his ranking to world No. 4.
    Nadal won his 23rd ATP Masters 1000 tournament at the 2013 Mutua Madrid Open, beating Wawrinka, despite previously having been two points from defeat in his quarterfinal against David Ferrer.
    More Details Hide Details The blue clay that had troubled him the previous year there had been exchanged for the traditional red clay.
    He then won at the 2013 Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell over Almagro, in straight sets.
    More Details Hide Details This was his 8th victory there, making him the first man to win two different tournaments eight or more times each. It was also his fourth title of the season, and his sixth consecutive final.
    After withdrawing from Miami, Nadal attempted to defend his title at the 2013 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, but, despite reaching the final for the ninth consecutive year, he was beaten by Djokovic in straight sets.
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    In the title match of the 2013 Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Nadal defeated world No. 4 David Ferrer, losing just two games in the match.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal then returned to the American hard courts after a year, playing the Indian Wells Masters as the fifth seed. He lost only one set, and defeated world No. 2 Roger Federer and world No. 6 Tomáš Berdych in the matches leading up to the final. Nadal recovered from being one set down in the final, to defeat Juan Martín del Potro. This was his third Indian Wells Masters title and his first hardcourt title since October 2010, and made Nadal the player with the most Masters 1000s wins.
    At the 2013 Brasil Open, at São Paulo, Nadal struggled in the opening rounds, dropping sets to Berlocq and qualifier Alund.
    More Details Hide Details Despite the poor clay surface, which was the subject of player complaints, he reached the final, where he defeated David Nalbandian.
    Two weeks prior to the 2013 Australian Open, Nadal officially withdrew from the tournament citing a stomach virus.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal's withdrawal subsequently saw him drop out of the ATP's Top Four for the first time since 2005. Playing in his first tournaments in South America since 2005, Nadal made his comeback at the Latin American Golden Swing, starting his 2013 season at the 2013 VTR Open in Chile, where he advanced to the final without dropping a set but was beaten by Argentine world No. 73 journeyman Horacio Zeballos. He also lost in the doubles final (with Juan Mónaco).
  • 2012
    Age 25
    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.
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    In July 2012, Nadal withdrew from the 2012 Olympics owing to tendinitis in his knee, which subsequently also led to him pulling out of both the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Masters.
    More Details Hide Details Prior to his withdrawal, Nadal had been touted as the favourite to successfully defend the Gold Medal he won in Beijing four years earlier, despite his early loss at Wimbledon. On 15 August, Nadal announced his withdrawal from the US Open in New York, as he felt he still was not healthy enough to compete. On 11 September 2012, Nadal fell to a world No. 4 ranking, his lowest since 2010, as 2012 US Open winner Andy Murray climbed to No. 3.
    Nadal only lost a total of three sets in the 2012 clay court season.
    More Details Hide Details In his first grass court tournament of the season at Halle, Nadal advanced to quarterfinals, where he lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber. At Wimbledon, Nadal beat Thomaz Bellucci in the first round. He then met Lukáš Rosol in the second round, a player who was then ranked 100th in the world and had never advanced beyond the first qualifying round in his five previous Wimbledons. In one of the biggest upsets in Grand Slam history, Rosol defeated Nadal in five sets. This was the first time since the Wimbledon 2005 championships that Nadal had failed to progress past the 2nd round of a Grand Slam tournament.
    At the 2012 French Open, Nadal dropped only 30 games against his first five opponents, without losing a set.
    More Details Hide Details In the semifinal he faced a friend and compatriot in David Ferrer. Unlike their previous two encounters in Barcelona and Rome, Nadal showed almost no flaws, dismantling Ferrer to set up another championship title fight with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. This marked the first time where two opposing players faced each other in four consecutive Grand Slam tournament finals. They also became the only players to have faced the same opponent in the finals of all four Majors. Nadal won the first two sets before Djokovic claimed the third. Play was suspended in the fourth set owing to rain. When the match resumed the following day, Nadal won when Djokovic double faulted on match point, sealing a record 7th Roland Garros title for Nadal. Throughout the tournament, Nadal lost only one set, occurring in the final. By winning his seventh title at Roland Garros, Nadal surpassed Borg's overall titles record to become the most successful tennis player in French Open history.
    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.
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    As the clay court season started, Nadal was seeded 2nd at the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
    More Details Hide Details He defeated Jarkko Nieminen, Mikhael Kukushkin, Stanislas Wawrinka, and Gilles Simon before topping world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win his 8th consecutive Monte Carlo trophy. This ended a streak of seven straight final losses to Djokovic, which began at the 2011 Indian Wells Masters final. A day after the Monte Carlo Masters 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 hard fought final to clinch his seventh title in eight years at the Barcelona Open. The Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open did not go very well for Nadal. He beat Nikolay Davydenko, one of the few players to hold a positive head to head record over Nadal, in straight sets. He then lost to Fernando Verdasco, who he held a 13–0 record against in the third round 7–5 in the third, after blowing a 4–0 final set lead. Nadal stated that he was very unhappy with 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.
  • 2011
    Age 24
    At the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals, Nadal was defeated by Roger Federer in the round-robin stage, in one of the quickest matches between the two, lasting just 60 minutes.
    More Details Hide Details In the following match, Nadal was defeated by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and was eliminated from the tournament. In the Davis Cup final in December, Nadal had a quick straight-set win over Juan Mónaco in his first match. In his second match against Juan Martín del Potro, Nadal did not win a single service game in the first set but came back to win the match. Nadal ended his tennis season with the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition tournament not affiliated with the ATP. The tournament, normally held in early January, was held from 29 to 31 December 2011. Nadal had a bye into the semifinals and played against David Ferrer, who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals. Ferrer won the match in straight sets. Nadal was then relegated to the third place match against Roger Federer. Nadal won in straight sets.
    At the 2011 US Open, Nadal defeated Andrey Golubev in straight sets and advanced to the third round after Frenchman Nicolas Mahut retired.
    More Details Hide Details After defeating David Nalbandian on 4 September, Nadal collapsed in his post-match press conference owing to severe cramps. Nadal lost to Novak Djokovic in the final in four sets.
    He next played in the 2011 Cincinnati Masters, where he lost to Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals.
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    After resting for a month from a foot injury sustained during Wimbledon, he contested the 2011 Rogers Cup, where he was shocked by Croatian Ivan Dodig in a third-set tiebreak.
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    This set up a final against world No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who had beaten Nadal in all four of their matches in 2011 (all in Masters finals).
    More Details Hide Details After dropping the third set, Djokovic defeated Nadal in the fourth. This was the first Grand Slam tournament final that Nadal had lost to someone other than Roger Federer and his first loss at Wimbledon since his five-set loss to Federer in the 2007 final. The loss ended Nadal's winning streak in Grand Slam finals at seven, preventing him from tying the Open-Era record of eight victories in a row set by Pete Sampras. Djokovic's success at the tournament also meant that the Serb ascended to world No. 1 for the first time, breaking the dominance of Federer and Nadal on the position, which one of them had held for every week since 2 February 2004. Nadal fell to world No. 2 in the rankings for the first time since June 2010.
    At the 2011 Mutua Madrid Open in May, he defeated Marcos Baghdatis, had a walkover against Juan Martín del Potro, and defeated Michaël Llodra and Roger Federer, before losing the final to Novak Djokovic in two sets.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal again lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in the Rome Masters final. This marked the first time that Nadal has lost twice on clay to the same player in a single season. However, Nadal retained his No. 1 ranking during the clay-court season and won his sixth French Open title by defeating Roger Federer. During the first three rounds of Wimbledon, Nadal beat Michael Russell, Ryan Sweeting, and Gilles Müller. He then faced Juan Martín del Potro in the fourth round and Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals, defeating both players in four sets. His semifinal opponent was world No. 4 Andy Murray. Nadal lost the first set, then won the next three.
    He did not gain any points for this victory, however, as only four ATP 500 tournaments can be counted towards a players ranking at one time, but they will go into effect 8 August 2011, when the result of the 2010 Legg Mason Tennis Classic expires.
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    Just a week later, Nadal won his sixth Barcelona Open crown, winning the 2011 Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell final against Ferrer in straight sets.
    More Details Hide Details In doing so, Nadal became the first man in the open era to have won two tournaments at least six times each. Nadal was then the leader in terms of matches won in the year, with 29.
    In the final, Nadal avenged his defeat by David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Australian Open.
    More Details Hide Details He became the first man to win the same tournament seven times in a row at the ATP level in the open era. Nadal chalked up his 37th straight win at the clay-court event, where he has not lost since the 2003 Monte Carlo Masters. It was his 44th career title and 19th at a Masters event. It was his first title since winning the Japan Open. Nadal shares third place with Björn Borg and Manuel Orantes in the list of players with the most titles on clay.
    Nadal began his clay-court season by winning the 2011 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters with the loss of just one set.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal defeated Jarkko Nieminen, Richard Gasquet, Ivan Ljubičić, and Andy Murray to reach his seventh consecutive final in Monte Carlo.
    Nadal started the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open with a win over Kei Nishikori then met his compatriot Feliciano López in the third round, whom he defeated.
    More Details Hide Details In the fourth round, he defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov. In the quarterfinals, Nadal had the first real test of the tournament when he met the world No. 7 Tomáš Berdych, who he defeated in three sets. In the semifinals, Nadal met his main rival Roger Federer, their first meeting in a semifinal since the 2007 Masters Cup. Nadal won in straight sets. For the second time in two weeks, Nadal faced Novak Djokovic in the final. As in the Indian Wells tournament, Nadal won the first set, and Djokovic the second. The third set ended in a tiebreak, with Djokovic winning. This was the first time Nadal reached the finals of Indian Wells and Miami in the same year.
    At the 2011 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Nadal defeated upcoming qualifier Rik de Voest in his first match.
    More Details Hide Details In the third round, he beat qualifier Ryan Sweeting. He then defeated qualifier Somdev Devvarman in the fourth round. In the quarterfinals, Nadal had a hard time against Croatian Ivo Karlović, and in the semifinals he met Juan Martín del Potro. The last three confrontations between the players were in favor of del Potro, but despite some difficulties, Nadal won in straight sets. He reached his third final at Indian Wells, and lost against Novak Djokovic. The next day, Nadal and Djokovic played a friendly match in Bogotá, Colombia, which Nadal won.
    In March, Nadal helped Spain defeat Belgium in a 2011 Davis Cup World Group first-round tie on hard indoor courts in the Spiroudome in Charleroi, Belgium.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal defeated Ruben Bemelmans. After Spain's victory in three matches, Nadal won a second dead rubber against Olivier Rochus.
    On 7 February 2011, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Nadal won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for the first time, ahead of footballer Lionel Messi, Sebastian Vettel, Spain's Andrés Iniesta, Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant, and Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
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    Nadal started 2011, by participating in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
    More Details Hide Details He defeated Tomáš Berdych to reach his third final in the exhibition tournament. In the final, he won over his main rival Roger Federer. At the Qatar ExxonMobil Open ATP 250 event in Doha, Qatar, Nadal barely struggled past his first three opponents, Karol Beck, Lukáš Lacko, and Ernests Gulbis, citing fever as the primary reason for his poor performance. He fell in straight sets to a resurgent Nikolay Davydenko in the semifinals. He and countryman López won the doubles title by defeating the Italian duo Daniele Bracciali and Andreas Seppi. In the first round of the Australian Open, Nadal defeated Marcos Daniel. In the second round, he beat upcoming qualifier Ryan Sweeting. In the third round, he was tested by emerging player Bernard Tomic of Australia, but Nadal was victorious in straight sets. He went on to defeat Marin Čilić of Croatia, in the fourth round. He suffered an apparent hamstring injury against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer early in the pair's quarterfinal match and ultimately lost in straight sets, thus ending his effort to win four major tournaments in a row.
  • 2010
    Age 23
    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.
    More Details Hide Details At the Shanghai Masters, Nadal was top seed with the absence of Novak Djokovic, but was upset in the third round by No. 23 ranked Florian Mayer in straight sets.
    Nadal ended the 2010 season having won three Grand Slams and three Masters 1000 tournaments, and having regained the No. 1 ranking.
    More Details Hide Details Next up for Nadal was a two-match exhibition against Federer for the Roger Federer Foundation. The first match took place in Zürich on 21 December 2010, and the second in Madrid the next day.
    At the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals in London, Nadal defeated Roddick in the first match, Djokovic in the second match, and Berdych in the third match, to advance to the semifinals for the third time in his career.
    More Details Hide Details This was the first time that Nadal achieved three wins in the round-robin stage. In the semifinal, he defeated Murray in a hard-fought match to reach his first final at the tournament. In only their second meeting of the year, Federer beat Nadal in the final. After the match, Nadal stated, "Roger is probably the more complete player of the world. I'm not going to say I lost that match because I was tired." This was a reference to his marathon victory over Murray on Saturday. "I tried my best this afternoon, but Roger was simply better than me."
    On 21 November 2010, in London, Nadal won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the first time.
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    Nadal next played in the 2010 Shanghai Rolex Masters in Shanghai, where he was the top seed, but lost to world No. 12 Jürgen Melzer in the third round, snapping his record streak of 21 consecutive Masters quarterfinals.
    More Details Hide Details On 5 November, Nadal announced that he was pulling out of the Paris Masters owing to tendinitis in his left shoulder.
    Nadal was able to regroup, and at the 2010 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo (debut), he defeated Santiago Giraldo, Milos Raonic, and Dmitry Tursunov.
    More Details Hide Details In the semifinals against Viktor Troicki, Nadal saved two match points in the deciding set tiebreaker to win it 9–7 in the end. In the final, Nadal comfortably defeated Gaël Monfils for his seventh title of the season.
    Nadal began his Asian tour at the 2010 PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok where he reached the semifinals, losing to compatriot Guillermo García-López.
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    Nadal's victory also clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for 2010, making Nadal only the third player (after Ivan Lendl in 1989 and Roger Federer in 2009) to regain the year-end number one ranking after having lost it.
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    At the 2010 US Open, Nadal was the top seed for the second time in three years.
    More Details Hide Details He defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili, Denis Istomin, Gilles Simon, number 23 seed Feliciano López, number 8 seed Fernando Verdasco, and number 12 seed Mikhail Youzhny all without dropping a set, to reach his first US Open final, becoming only the eighth man in the Open Era to reach the final of all four majors, and at age 24 the second youngest ever to do so, behind only Jim Courier. In the final, he defeated Novak Djokovic, which completed 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 court 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 and Mats Wilander are the only male players to win at least two Grand Slams each on clay, grass, and hardcourts in their careers. Nadal also became the first left-handed man to win the US Open since John McEnroe in 1984.
    In the semifinal, defending champion Murray defeated Nadal, becoming the only player to triumph over the Spaniard twice in 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal also competed in the doubles with Djokovic in a one-time, high-profile partnership of the world No. 1 and No. 2, the first such team since the Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe team in 1976. However, Nadal and Djokovic lost in the first round to Canadians Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil. The next week, Nadal was the top seed at the Cincinnati Masters, losing in the quarterfinals to 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal reportedly owns 10 percent and was offered the role of vice president, but he rejected that offer. 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 Madrid icons Raúl, Iker Casillas and Alfredo Di Stéfano." Shortly after acquiring his interest in Mallorca, Nadal called out UEFA for apparent hypocrisy in ejecting the club from the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League for excessive debts, saying through a club spokesperson, "Well, if those are the criteria upon which UEFA is operating, then European competition will only comprise two or three clubs because all the rest are in debt, too." He is a fervent supporter of the Spanish national team, one of only six people not affiliated with the team or the national federation allowed into the team's locker room immediately following Spain's victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final.
    Nadal won the 2010 Wimbledon men's title by defeating Tomáš Berdych in straight sets.
    More Details Hide Details After the win, Nadal said that winning Wimbledon was "more than a dream" for him, and thanked the crowd for being both kind and supportive to him and his adversary during the match and in the semifinal against Andy Murray. The win gave him a second Wimbledon title and an eighth career major title just past the age of 24. The win also gave Nadal his first "Old World Triple"; the last person to achieve this was Björn Borg in 1978 ("Old World Triple" is a term given to winning the Italian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon in the same year). In his first hard-court tournament since Wimbledon, Nadal advanced to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup, along with No. 2 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 Roger Federer, and No. 4 Andy Murray, after coming back from a one-set deficit to defeat Philipp Kohlschreiber.
    The first set of his match against Almagro would be just the second set he lost on clay up to this point in 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal then defeated longtime rival Roger Federer, avenging his 2009 finals loss to Federer. The win gave him his 18th Masters title, breaking the all-time record. He became the first player to win all three clay-court Masters titles in a single year and the first player to win three consecutive Masters events. Nadal moved back to No. 2 the following day. Entering the French Open, many were expecting another Nadal-Federer final. However, this became impossible when rival Robin Söderling defeated Federer in the quarterfinals. The failure of Federer to reach the semifinals allowed Nadal to regain the world No. 1 ranking if he were to win the tournament. Nadal advanced to the final and defeated Soderling. The win gave Nadal his seventh Grand Slam tournament title, tying him with John McEnroe, John Newcombe, and Mats Wilander on the all-time list, and allowed Nadal to reclaim the position of world No. 1, denying his biggest rival Roger Federer the all-time record for weeks at No. 1. By this win, Nadal became the first man to win the three Masters series on clay and the French Open. The victory at Roland Garros marked the second time (2008) that Nadal had won the French Open without dropping a single set (tying the record held by Björn Borg). With the win in Paris he also booked his place at the World Tour Finals in London and became the first player to win five French Open titles in six years.
    Nadal then entered the 2010 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, where he had finished runner-up the previous year.
    More Details Hide Details Being one of the top eight seeds, he received a bye in the first round. In the second round, he defeated qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets. He then played the six-foot-nine-inch American John Isner. Nadal comfortably came through in straight sets. He defeated Gaël Monfils in the quarterfinals and his countryman Nicolás Almagro in the next round, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 semifinal.
    Unlike in previous years, Nadal next chose to skip the Barcelona tournament (despite being that event's five-time defending champion), and his next tournament was the 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
    More Details Hide Details He defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber, Victor Hănescu, and Stanlias Wawrinka, all in straight sets, to win his 57th straight match in April. In the semifinals, he faced a resilient Ernests Gulbis, who defeated Roger Federer earlier in the tournament and took Nadal to three sets for the first time this clay-court season. Nadal eventually prevailed in 2 hours and 40minutes. He then defeated compatriot David Ferrer in the final for his fifth title at Rome to equal Andre Agassi's record of winning 17 ATP Masters titles.
  • 2009
    Age 22
    Nadal won the Golden Bagel Award for the third time in 2009, with nine 6–0 sets during the year.
    More Details Hide Details In doing so he set a new record of Award wins, since matched only by Novak Djokovic. Nadal began the year by participating in the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He defeated compatriot David Ferrer to reach his second final in the exhibition tournament. In the final, Nadal defeated Robin Söderling in straight sets. Nadal participated in an Australian Open warm-up tournament, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open ATP 250 event in Doha, where he lost in the finals to Nikolay Davydenko. In the Australian Open, Nadal defeated Peter Luczak, Lukáš Lacko, Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Ivo Karlović. In the quarterfinals, Nadal pulled out at 3–0 down in the third set against Andy Murray, having lost the first two sets. After examining Nadal's knees, doctors told him that he should take two weeks of rest, and then two weeks of rehabilitation.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In the quarterfinals of the US Open he defeated Fernando González in a rain-delayed encounter. However, like his previous US Open campaign, he fell in the semifinals, this time losing to eventual champion Juan Martín del Potro. Despite the loss, he regained the No. 2 ranking after Andy Murray's early exit. At the World Tour Finals, Nadal lost all three of his matches against Robin Söderling, Nikolay Davydenko, and Novak Djokovic respectively without winning a set. In December, Nadal participated in the second Davis Cup final of his career. He defeated Tomáš Berdych in his first singles rubber to give the Spanish Davis Cup Team their first point in the tie. After the Spanish Davis Cup team had secured its fourth Davis Cup victory, Nadal defeated Jan Hájek in the first Davis Cup dead rubber of his career. The win gave Nadal his 14th consecutive singles victory at Davis Cup (his 13th on clay).
    Roger Federer went on to win the title, and Nadal consequently dropped back to world No. 2 on 6 July 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal later announced his withdrawal from the Davis Cup. On 4 August, Nadal's uncle, Toni Nadal, confirmed that Nadal would return to play at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. There, in his first tournament since Roland Garros, Nadal lost in the quarterfinals to Juan Martín del Potro.
    After his surprise defeat at Roland Garros, Nadal withdrew from the AEGON Championships. It was confirmed that Nadal was suffering from tendinitis in both of his knees. On 19 June, Nadal withdrew from the 2009 Wimbledon Championship, citing his recurring knee injury.
    More Details Hide Details He was the first champion not to defend the title since Goran Ivanišević in 2001.
    This run came to an end on 31 May 2009, when Nadal lost to eventual runner-up, Robin Söderling in the 4th round.
    More Details Hide Details This was Nadal's first and, until 2015, only loss at the French Open.
    By beating Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of 2009 French Open, Nadal (2005–09 French Open) set a record of 31 consecutive wins at Roland Garros, beating the previous record of 28 by Björn Borg (1978–81 French Open).
    More Details Hide Details Nadal had won 32 consecutive sets at Roland Garros (since winning the last 2 sets at the 2007 French Open final against Federer), the second-longest winning streak in the tournament's history behind Björn Borg's record of 41 consecutive sets.
    On 19 May, the ATP World Tour announced that Nadal was the first player out of eight to qualify for the 2009 ATP World Tour Finals, to be played at the O2 Arena in London.
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    Nadal began his European clay court season at the 2009 Monte Carlo Masters, where he won a record fifth consecutive singles title there.
    More Details Hide Details He defeated Novak Djokovic in the final for his fifth consecutive win, a record in the open era. Nadal is the first male player to win the same ATP Master series event for five consecutive years. Nadal then competed in the ATP 500 event in Barcelona. He advanced to his fifth consecutive Barcelona final, where he faced David Ferrer. Nadal went on to beat Ferrer to record five consecutive Barcelona victories. At the Rome Masters, Nadal reached the final, where he defeated Novak Djokovic to improve his overall record to 13–4 and clay record to 8–0 against the Serb. He became the first player to win four Rome titles. After winning two clay-court Masters, he participated in the Madrid Open. He lost to Roger Federer in the final. This was the first time that Nadal had lost to Federer since the semifinals of the 2007 Tennis Masters Cup.
    At the 2009 Indian Wells Masters, Nadal won his thirteenth Masters 1000 series tournament.
    More Details Hide Details In the fourth round, Nadal saved five match points, before defeating David Nalbandian for the first time. Nadal defeated Juan Martín del Potro in the quarterfinals and Andy Roddick in the semifinals, before defeating Murray in the final. The next ATP tour event was the 2009 Miami Masters. Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals, where he again faced Argentinian del Potro, this time losing the match. This was the first time del Potro had defeated Nadal in five career matches.
    At the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal won his first five matches without dropping a set, before defeating compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals in the second longest match in Australian Open history at 5 hours and 14 minutes.
    More Details Hide Details This win set up a championship match with Roger Federer, their first meeting ever in a hard-court Grand Slam tournament and their nineteenth meeting overall. Nadal defeated Federer in five sets to earn his first hard-court Grand Slam singles title, making him the first Spaniard to win the Australian Open and the fourth male tennis player—after Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, and Andre Agassi—to win Grand Slam singles titles on three different surfaces. This win also made Nadal the first male tennis player to hold three Grand Slam singles titles on three different surfaces at the same time. At the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Nadal lost in the final to second-seeded Andy Murray in three sets. During the final, Nadal called a trainer to attend to a tendon problem with his right knee, which notably affected his play in the final set. Although this knee problem was not associated with Nadal's right knee tendonitis, it was serious enough to cause him to withdraw from the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships a week later.
  • 2008
    Age 21
    In June, Nadal entered the AEGON Championships, which he had won in 2008, at the prestigious Queen's Club.
    More Details Hide Details He played singles and doubles at this grass court tournament as a warmup for Wimbledon. Being one of the top eight seeds, he received a bye in the first round. In the second round, where he played his first match on grass since winning Wimbledon 2008, he defeated Marcos Daniel. In the third round, he played Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, whom he defeated to advance to the quarterfinals. However, he was defeated by compatriot Feliciano López. At the Wimbledon Championships, Nadal beat Kei Nishikori and Robin Haase in the opening rounds. He defeated Philipp Petzschner in the third round, winning after five sets of play. During his match with Petzschner, Nadal was warned twice for allegedly receiving coaching from his coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, resulting in a $2000 fine by Wimbledon officials. He defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in the round of 16 and in the quarterfinals, he beat Robin Söderling of Sweden in four sets. He defeated Andy Murray in straight sets to reach his fourth Wimbledon final.
    After his first-round match with Fabrice Santoro, Nadal was awarded the 2008 ATP World Tour Champion trophy.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal eventually lost in the quarterfinals to Gaël Monfils. Nadal also entered and won the tournament's doubles event with partner Marc López, defeating the world No. 1 doubles team of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić in the final. As noted by statistician Greg Sharko, this was the first time since 1990 the world No. 1 singles player had played the world No. 1 doubles player in a final.
    At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nadal defeated Novak Djoković in the semifinals and Fernando González of Chile in the final to win his first Olympic gold medal.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal became the first male player ranked in the top five to win the gold medal. At the US Open, Nadal was the top-seeded player for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament. He did not lose a set during his first three matches, defeating qualifiers in the first and second rounds and Viktor Troicki in the third round. He then needed four sets to defeat both Sam Querrey in the fourth round and Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he lost to eventual runner up, Andy Murray. Later in the year in Madrid, Nadal helped Spain defeat the United States in the Davis Cup semifinals. At the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid, Nadal lost in the semifinals to Gilles Simon. However, his performance at the event guaranteed that he would become the first Spaniard during the open era to finish the year as the world No. 1. On 24 October at the Campoamor theatre in Oviedo, Spain, Nadal was given the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, in recognition of his achievements in tennis. Two weeks after the Madrid Masters at the BNP Paribas Masters in France, Nadal reached the quarterfinals, where he faced Nikolay Davydenko. Nadal lost the first set 6–1, before retiring in the second with a knee injury. The following week, Nadal announced his withdrawal from the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, citing tendinitis of the knee.
    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Nadal in the semifinal of 2008 Australian Open.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal also reached the final of the Miami Masters for the second time. During the spring clay-court season, Nadal won four singles titles and defeated Roger Federer in three finals. He beat Federer at the Masters Series Monte Carlo for the third straight year, capturing his Open Era record fourth consecutive title there. He won in straight sets, despite Federer's holding a 4–0 lead in the second set. Nadal then won his fourth consecutive title at the Open Sabadell Atlántico tournament in Barcelona. A few weeks later, Nadal won his first title at the Masters Series Hamburg, defeating Federer in the three-set final. He then won the French Open, becoming the fifth man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam singles title without losing a set. He defeated Federer in the final for the third straight year, but this was the most lopsided of all their matches, as Nadal only lost four games and gave Federer his first bagel since 1999. This was Nadal's fourth consecutive French title, tying Björn Borg's all-time record. Nadal became the fourth male player during Open era to win the same Grand Slam singles tournament four consecutive years (the others being Borg, Pete Sampras, and Federer). Nadal then played Federer in the final of Wimbledon for the third consecutive year, in the most anticipated match of their rivalry. Nadal entered the final on a 23-match winning streak, including his first career grass-court title at the Artois Championships staged at the Queen's Club in London prior to Wimbledon.
  • 2007
    Age 20
    After another quarterfinal loss at the Dubai Tennis Championships, he won the 2007 Indian Wells Masters, before Novak Djoković defeated him in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Miami Masters.
    More Details Hide Details He had comparatively more success after returning to Europe to play five clay-court tournaments. He won the titles at the Masters Series Monte Carlo, the Open Sabadell Atlántico in Barcelona, and the Masters Series Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, before losing to Roger Federer in the final of the Masters Series Hamburg. This defeat ended his 81-match winning streak on clay, which is the male Open Era record for consecutive wins on a single surface. He then rebounded to win the French Open for the third straight year, defeating Federer once again in the final. Between the tournaments in Barcelona and Rome, Nadal defeated Federer in the "Battle of Surfaces" exhibition match in Mallorca, Spain, with the tennis court being half grass and half clay.
  • 2006
    Age 19
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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. After a month-long break from tournament tennis, Nadal played the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid and the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. David Nalbandian upset him in the quarterfinals and final of those tournaments. To end the year, Nadal won two of his three round robin matches to advance to the semifinals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, where Federer defeated him in straight sets.
    To complete the spring hard-court season, Nadal was upset in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, by James Blake, and was upset in the second round of the 2006 Miami Masters.
    More Details Hide Details On European clay, Nadal won all four tournaments he entered and 24 consecutive matches. He defeated Federer in the final of the Masters Series Monte Carlo in four sets. The following week, he defeated Tommy Robredo in the final of the Open Sabadell Atlántico tournament in Barcelona. After a one-week break, Nadal won the Masters Series Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, defeating Federer in a fifth-set tiebreaker in the final, after saving two match points and equaling Björn Borg's tally of 16 ATP titles won as a teenager. Nadal broke Argentinian Guillermo Vilas's 29-year male record of 53 consecutive clay-court match victories by winning his first round match at the French Open. Vilas presented Nadal with a trophy, but commented later that Nadal's feat was less impressive than his own because Nadal's winning streak covered two years and was accomplished by adding easy tournaments to his schedule.
  • 2005
    Age 18
    Nadal won the Golden Bagel Award for 2005, with eleven 6–0 sets during the year.
    More Details Hide Details Also, he earned the highest year-end ranking ever by a Spaniard and the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year award. Nadal missed the Australian Open because of a foot injury. In February, he lost in the semifinals of the first tournament he played, the Open 13 tournament in Marseille, France. Two weeks later, he handed Roger Federer his first loss of the year in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Men's Open (in 2006, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were the only two men who defeated Federer).
    Both Nadal and Federer won eleven singles titles and four ATP Masters Series titles in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    In September, he defeated Coria in the final of the China Open in Beijing and won both of his Davis Cup matches against Italy. In October, he won his fourth ATP Masters Series title of the year, defeating Ivan Ljubičić in the final of the 2005 Madrid Masters.
    More Details Hide Details He then suffered a foot injury that prevented him from competing in the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup.
    Nadal was seeded second at the 2005 US Open, where he was upset in the third round by world No. 49 James Blake in four sets.
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    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.
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    Immediately after Wimbledon, Nadal won 16 consecutive matches and three consecutive tournaments, bringing his ranking to world No. 2 on 25 July 2005.
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    He then lost in the second round of 2005 Wimbledon to Gilles Müller of Luxembourg.
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    On his 19th birthday, Nadal defeated Federer in the 2005 French Open semifinals, being one of only four players who defeated the top-seeded player that year (along with Marat Safin, Richard Gasquet, and David Nalbandian).
    More Details Hide Details Two days later, he defeated Mariano Puerta in the final, becoming the second male player after Mats Wilander to win the French Open on his first attempt. He also became the first teenager to win a Grand Slam singles title since Pete Sampras won the 1990 US Open at age 19. Winning the French Open improved Nadal's ranking to world 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 the German Alexander Waske.
    Two months later, Nadal 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 world No. 1 Roger Federer.
    More Details Hide Details Both performances were considered to be breakthroughs for Nadal. He then dominated the spring clay court season. He won 24 consecutive singles matches, which broke 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 world No. 5 and made him one of the favorites at his career-first French Open.
    At the 2005 Australian Open, Nadal lost in the fourth round to eventual runner-up Lleyton Hewitt.
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  • 2004
    Age 17
    By beating world No. 2 Andy Roddick, he helped Spain clinch the 2004 title over the United States in a 3–2 win.
    More Details Hide Details He finished the year ranked world No. 51.
    Later that year, Nadal played his first match against world No. 1 Roger Federer at the 2004 Miami Masters, and won in straight sets, before losing to Fernando González in the fourth round.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Nadal, at 18 years and six months, became the youngest player to register a singles victory in a Davis Cup final for a winning nation.
    Nadal reached the third round of the 2004 Australian Open where he lost in three sets against Australian Lleyton Hewitt.
    More Details Hide Details Interestingly, had he won, he would have faced Roger Federer in the next round.
  • 2003
    Age 16
    At his Wimbledon debut in 2003, Nadal became the youngest man to reach the third round since Boris Becker in 1984.
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  • 2002
    Age 15
    In 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.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, Nadal won two Challenger titles and finished the year in the top 50.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year he helped Spain defeat the USA in the final of the Junior Davis Cup in his second, and final, appearance on the ITF junior circuit. 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 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.
  • 2001
    Age 14
    In May 2001, he defeated former Grand Slam tournament champion Pat Cash in a clay-court exhibition match.
    More Details Hide Details Nadal turned professional at the age of 15, and participated in two events on the ITF junior circuit.
  • 1986
    Born on June 3, 1986.
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