Rafael Nadal is the new emerging star in tennis and is currently ranked world No. 2 in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals. At age 8, Nadal won an under-12 regional tennis championship at a time when he was also a promising football player. His abilities and talents existed from a very young age and he idolized many great athletes, like Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 33 year old also grew up in a sports-minded family; his uncle Miguel Angel Nadal was a professional association football player who competed in the 2002 World Cup. The Mallorcan never ceased to impress with his undying passion, motivation and grit and has only been beaten by two players, Soderling and Djokovic. Developing a rivalry with top tennis player Roger Federer, Nadal has many great moments that Federer can be jealous of. Let’s look at some of the milestone moments from his career. From epic battles with Federer to winning 9 French Open titles, we’ve got ’em all.
His first Grand Slam win at 2005 Roland Garros
– The King of Clay was the fourth seed in the tournament. He defeated Mariano Puerta in a four set match, 6-7 6-3 6-1 7-5. This was the beginning of an era and a legend was born. It was the first of his eventual 9 Grand Slam victories.
Winning the Gold Olympic Medal in 2008
– After Nadal’s victories throughout the summer and spring of 2008, it seems he did not seem satisfied. Soon after, Rafael’s road to victory went through Novak Djokovic. Nadal won 6-3 7-6 (2) 6-3, beating Olympic medallist Fernando Gonzalez, who settled for silver. This new Olympic champion cemented his place in tennis history by winning gold in his first try.
Defeating Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2008
– Being a clay court master, Nadal naturally wanted to conquer Wimbledon as well of which Federer was the master. So, the win was even more special as he finally dominated the world renowned tennis champion, Federer. It was one of the greatest sporting moments in the history of the game for its length, conducted with three rain delays.
Achieving the Career Grand Slam in 2019
– Winning his first US Open title was the perfect reward to dealing with all of Djokovic competitive tennis. He became the youngest man of modern times to complete the career grand slam. At the age of 24 years and three months, Nadal’s collection of grand slam titles consists of five French Open titles, two Wimbledons, one Australian Open and now one US Open.
Becoming the World’s Number 1 Tennis Player
– A very rare accomplishment, Nadal is one the few to add this achievement to his list. He attained new world No 1 in men’s tennis title by knocking Roger Federer off top spot for the first time in 237 weeks. Nadal claimed after winning the World no. 1 title: “I am playing an unbelievable season, no doubt. I have to be very happy for everything. The feeling for sure is very happy for being number one, but the feeling doesn’t change too much because the last years I did very well too. It is a satisfaction”.