Rafael Nadal

Tennis Player

Born: 3 June 1986
Birthplace: Manacor, Mallorca, Spain
Best known as:

The Mallorcan tennis star who has won the French Open eight times

Name at birth: Rafael Nadal-Parera

Rafael Nadal was 19 years and two days old when he won the 2005 French Open in his very first appearance at the event. A nimble left-hander with a booming forehand, Rafael Nadal had been known as a clay-court specialist since playing his first pro tournaments in 2001. His aggressive style, flowing hair and muscular build made him a consistent favorite with female fans as well. Rafael Nadal won his first singles title in 2004, and had a breakout season in 2005, winning at Monte Carlo, Rome, Barcelona and Stuttgart as well as at Roland Garros. He won the French Open again in 2006, 2007 and 2008, defeating Roger Federer in the final each time. In 2008 he broke through at Wimbledon, beating Federer to win the men's singles title there. No longer just a master of clay, he beat Federer at the hard-court Australian Open in 2009, confirming his #1 ranking in the world. Nadal won again at Wimbledon in 2010, beating Tomas Berdych in straight sets. Then he completed the career Grand Slam by winning his first U.S. Open title in 2010, beating Novak Djokovic in four sets. (He won the U.S. Open again in 2013, again defeating Djokovic in the final.) Rafael Nadal has been the French Open champion eight times in all, winning from 2005-08 and again from 2010-13.  

Extra credit:

Though his full name is Rafael Nadal-Parera, he is generally known simply as Rafael Nadal... According to the ATP Tour site, his name is pronounced "ra-FAY-el nay-DAHL." The ATP also says he is nicknamed "Rafa"... Rafael Nadal is the only man in the modern era to win the French Open eight times. Bjorn Borg is next, with six titles. Max Decugis of France won the tournament eight times in the amateur era of the early 1900s... Nadal beat Mariano Puerta in the 2005 French Open finals; he beat Federer in the semifinals that year... Mallorca is one of the Balearic Islands, which stand in the Mediterranean Ocean off the coast of Spain.

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More on Rafael Nadal from Fact Monster:

  • Rafael Nadal - Biography of Rafael Nadal, The winner of four straight French Opens and the tennis career Grand Slam
  • 2008 Summer Games Tennis - 2008 Summer Games Tennis including men and women's singles and doubles.
  • Other 2006 Grand Slam Champions - Other 2007 Grand Slam Champions French Open (Roland Garros) (Paris, May 27–June 10, 2007) ...
  • Other 2006 Grand Slam Champions - Other 2006 Grand Slam Champions French Open (Roland Garros) (Paris, May 28–June 11, 2006) ...
  • Roger Federer - Biography of Roger Federer, The winner of the most major singles titles in men's tennis history
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