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Rafael Nadal Parera is a tremendous Spanish tennis savant and is regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace any court.
He began training for tennis as early as 3 years old under his uncle (former player) Toni. At only 8, he won a U-12 state championship and by age 12, he was the national and continental champion.
He became a professional at 15 and won his first ever ATP game in April 2002. His ranking by 2003 had risen from 762 to 49, reaching the 3rd round on his Wimbledon debut.
Best Known For
Tagged “The King of Clay”, nobody has had more wins than him on clay surfaces (40 titles). Only Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are considered in the same mold as him.
With 80 career titles, he has won 11 French Open (2005-08, 2010-14, 2017-18), 3 US Open, 2 Wimbledon and 1 Australian Open.
He has also won 4 Davis Cup and 2 Olympic gold medals for Spain.
Rafael is straight and his commitment to his long-time girlfriend is certainly a thing of beauty. He and María Francisca Perelló have been going at it since 2005 and in January 2019, they have announced their plans to get married quite soon.
Born as the older child and only son of Sebastián Nadal and Ana María Parera, his only sister is María Isabel. He is the nephew to former football player, Miguel Ángel Nadal and former coach, Toni Nadal.
Rafael considers himself to be agnostic.
Worth To Know
Although he plays his tennis with his left hand, Rafael is actually right-handed.
He played soccer and tennis full-time concurrently growing up. He had to drop soccer because his academics were suffering.
An avid fan of football, he is an honorary member of Real Madrid CF, Real Mallorca (shareholder too) and Spain national team.