Rafael Nadal is a professional tennis player and a former world no. 1. As of 4 March 2013, he is ranked no. 5 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Rafael Nadal is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time; also his success on clay has earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”, and has prompted many experts to regard him as the greatest clay court player in history.
Rafael Nadal has won eleven Grand Slam singles titles, including an all-time record seven French Open titles, the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles, a record 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments (tied with Roger Federer), and was also part of the Spain Davis Cup team that won the finals in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011. He completed the Career Grand Slam by winning the 2010 US Open, being the seventh player in history, and the youngest of four in the Open Era, to achieve it.
Rafael Nadal is the second male player to complete the Career Golden Slam (winner of the Career Grand Slam and the Olympic gold medal) after Andre Agassi. Nadal has at least two Grand Slam titles on each of the three surfaces (hard court, grass, and clay), the second player to achieve this feat after Mats Wilander. By winning the 2012 French Open, he became the second male player and is one of three to win any Grand Slam tournament seven times (Pete Sampras’s and Federer’s seven Wimbledon titles).
Rafael Nadal had a 32-match winning streak in 2008, starting at the 2008 Masters Series Hamburg to the 2008 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open, which included titles at Hamburg, the French Open (where he did not drop a set), Queen’s Club, his first title at Wimbledon, and the Rogers Cup. In 2012, by winning the Monte-Carlo Masters, he became the only player to have won eight consecutive editions in any tournament during the history of tennis, and only the second player to win a single tournament for a total of eight times during Open Era.
Rafael Nadal is the first (and only player to date) to win three consecutive Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces. And for that matter, he is also the only male player in history to have won three Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces in the same calendar year (Don Budge and Rod Laver completed their Grand Slam on grass and clay, but none on hard court). Nadal was ranked world no. 2, behind Federer, for a record 160 consecutive weeks before earning the top spot, which he held from 18 August 2008 to 5 July 2009. He regained the world no.1 ranking on 7 June 2010, after winning his fifth French Open title. He held it until 3 July 2011, when Novak Djokovic replaced him as world no. 1. Nadal has held the no. 2 ranking for an ATP record 241 weeks (as of 9 July 2012).
How Rafael Nadal Made His Money – Tennis
Estimated Net Worth: $53 Million
Birthday: June 3, 1986
[image via Christopher Johnson]