Wednesday, June 2, 2010

King of clay turns 24

Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, Majorca to Sebastián Nadal and Ana María Parera. He has a younger sister named María Isabel. His uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal, is a retired professional football (soccer) player, having played for RCD Mallorca, FC Barcelona, and the Spanish national team.Nadal supports football clubs Real Madrid and RCD Mallorca. Recognizing that Rafael had a natural talent for tennis, his other uncle, Toni Nadal, a former professional tennis player, introduced him to tennis when he was three years old. Toni Nadal has been coaching him ever since.

At age eight, Nadal won an under-12 year regional tennis championship at a time where 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.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 said: "I chose tennis. Football had to stop straight away."
When he was 14, the Spanish tennis federation requested that he leave Mallorca and move to Barcelona to continue his tennis progression and training. Nadal's family turned down this request, partly because they feared it would hurt his education, but also because Toni Nadal 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 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 . Later that year, Nadal won all of his matches en-route to a winning campaign with Spain, over the USA, 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, Rafael had won the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award.

Then started the winning streak.
Few of his achievements:

* Longest single-surface winning streak (clay): 81 matches
* The only player to win 400 singles matches in fewer than 500 matches played
* The only player to win three consecutive Masters titles, irrespective of surface.
* The only player to win at least three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in a season for four consecutive years
* Overall Nadal is 196-16 (.925) in his career on clay, the best winning pct. on clay in the Open Era

Rafael Nadal defeated five-time defending Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer, in five sets to win his first Wimbledon title and fifth Grand Slam championship. It was the longest championship match in Wimbledon history with play lasting four hours and 48 minutes, and with two rain delays. The event stretched over seven hours ending just before nightfall. This is considered to be one of the best matches ever and it’s my favorite too. As the power went when I was watching the last set, I kept waiting for long time for the power to come.But finally went to sleep.When the power came I was too eager to know the status of the match so instead of coming down two floors to watch the match on TV, I was struck listening to the commentary on the Wimbledon website.I just couldn't leave it and go.I watched the match retelecast the next day.

Here I have put very very few images of  the trophies Nadal has tasted.

and here is Rafael Nadal, taking his brand new Aston Martin for a drive.
The number one tennis player in the world, Rafael Nadal, takes his brand new Aston Martin for a drive.
And how can I miss to put this image???!!!!

No matter what, you rule in your own way.

Here are a few of his quotes/comments which I like
  • “I'm number one in the tournament, but number one doesn't always win”
  • “To be honest, I haven't felt at my best since this tournament began. I didn't feel good with the court or the balls. But those are excuses. You have to accept when you don't play well and somebody else does.”
  • “I played bad, he played better.”

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