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Rafael Nadal

(Tennis player)

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Biography Rafael Nadal
photo Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal Parera was born on 3 June 1986, in Manacor, Majorca to Sebastián Nadal and Ana María Parera (his nickname is "Rafa"). He is a Spanish professional tennis player currently ranked No. 1 in the world. He has a younger sister named María Isabel. His uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal, is a retired professional football player who played for RCD Mallorca, FC Barcelona, and the Spanish national team. Recognizing that Rafael had a natural talent for tennis, another uncle, Toni Nadal, a former professional tennis player, began coaching him from three years old.

At age eight, Nadal won an under-12 year regional tennis championship. He also played football at that time and was a promising football player. Toni Nadal advised Rafa to play left-handed-for a natural advantage on the tennis court, as he noticed Nadal played forehand shots with two hands. When Nadal was 12, he won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group and was playing tennis and football all the time. Nadal's father made him choose between football and tennis so that his school work would not deteriorate entirely. Nadal chose tennis.

When he was 14, the Spanish tennis federation requested him to move to Barcelona to continue his tennis progression and training. Nadal's family turned down this request, they wanted him to continue his education. They also thought he could become a successful athlete in his own country. This meant that Nadal received less financial support from the federation. Instead Nadal's father covered the costs. In May 2001, he defeated former Grand Slam champion Pat Cash in a clay-court exhibition match.

Nadal participated in two events on the ITF junior circuit. 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. Nadal won all of his matches en-route to a winning campaign with Spain, over the US, in the junior Davis Cup in his second, and final, appearance on the ITF junior circuit.

By the age of 17, Nadal was ranked in the world's top 50 players. In 2003, he had won the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award. Early on in his career, Nadal picked up the trademark habit of biting the trophies he won.

He is regarded as one the greatest players of all time. Nadal has won nine Grand Slam singles titles, the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles, a record 18 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments and also was part of the Spain Davis Cup team that won the finals in 2004, 2008 and 2009. He completed the career Grand Slam by winning the 2010 US Open, being the 7th player in history, and the youngest in the open era, to achieve it.
His plays on clay sport grounds are always successful that's why he got the nickname "The King of Clay", and has prompted many experts to regard him as the greatest clay court player of all time.

In 2008, Nadal was given the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports for his achievements in tennis. Nadal's victory also clinched the year-end number one 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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