|35 Years (03 Jun, 1986)|
|Manacor, Mallorca, Spain|
|Left-Handed, Two-Handed Backhand|
|Carlos Moya, Francisco Roig, Marc Lopez|
Rafael Nadal, referred to by fans and experts alike as ‘Rafa’, will go down in history as the most dominant clay court player the game has ever seen. In the modern era of tennis, the French Open Grand Slam is very closely associated with the Spaniard, who’s won the Slam a whopping 13 times. That is a record for most wins on a single surface across Grand Slams. Indeed, it’s worth noting that Pete Sampras’ all-time Slams record – which was the benchmark before ...Read More
Rafael Nadal, referred to by fans and experts alike as ‘Rafa’, will go down in history as the most dominant clay court player the game has ever seen. In the modern era of tennis, the French Open Grand Slam is very closely associated with the Spaniard, who’s won the Slam a whopping 13 times. That is a record for most wins on a single surface across Grand Slams. Indeed, it’s worth noting that Pete Sampras’ all-time Slams record – which was the benchmark before the 2000s – was 14.
The Mallorca native is also one of three players in the modern era – the other two being rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – to have completed the career Grand Slam. His unique gameplay and relentless nature make him a force to reckon with even now, when injuries and age have caught up with him to some extent.
Besides his exploits in the French Open, it’s worth noting that Nadal’s dominance of clay stretches beyond just Roland Garros. Of his 88 ATP singles titles, 62 have been on clay. Of his 36 ATP Masters titles, 26 of those have come on clay. He also boasted an 81-game winning streak on the surface, the longest by some margin in the Open era. Besides that, he’s also spent a good bit of time as the world’s highest ranked men’s singles player. He’s been atop the rankings for a combined 209 weeks and has ended the year on top of the rankings on five separate occasions.
Nadal has also accomplished a feat neither Djokovic nor Federer has done – do the Career Golden Slam i.e. win all Grand Slam titles as well as an Olympic gold medal in singles competition. Djokovic has won a bronze Olympic medal in singles, whereas Federer’s sole Olympics medal is a gold – but in men’s doubles. Nadal has also won 11 doubles titles, although none of those have been in Grand Slams.
Nadal is a southpaw, and one of the most successful left-handers of all time in the sport. Of the Big Three, he is the only one who favours his left hand. This was because his uncle Toni, who was his first coach, saw Nadal play a two-armed forehand once and encouraged him to play tennis with his left hand, due to the lack of southpaws in the sport.
His game relies heavily on a powerful forehand that features more topspin than normal. The fact that he plays with his left hand also means that the angles at which he returns to his predominantly right-handed players are unique, and thus harder to return back. This was especially true with Federer, whose backhand was constantly tested by Nadal’s searing forehand returns.
But arguably Nadal’s biggest strength is his ability to break serves. He is regularly up there in terms of most break points won and is a powerful server in his own right. Initially in his career, his service game was considered something of a weakness but he worked hard on it over time. His game sees him mostly stick to the baseline, although over time he’s adopted a serve-and-volley approach on occasion to shock opponents.
Australian Open – won in 2009, 2022
French Open – won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Wimbledon – won in 2008 and 2010
US Open – won in 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019
|Singles Service Record|
|1st Serve Points Won||72%|
|2nd Serve Points Won||57%|
|Break Points Faced||6,116|
|Break Points Saved||67%|
|Service Games Played||14,333|
|Service Games Won||86%|
|Total Service Points Won||67%|
|Singles Return Record|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||34%|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||55%|
|Break Points Opportunities||10,599|
|Break Points Converted||45%|
|Return Games Played||14,200|
|Return Games Won||34%|
|Return Points Won||42%|
|Total Points Won||55%|
Player of the Year
|2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019|
Most Improved Player
Newcomer of the Year
Comeback Player of the Year
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award
|2018, 2010, 2019, 2020|
Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year
|Ranking||Points||YTD W/L||YTD Titles||YTD Prize Money|
|6||5,815||24 - 5||2||$1,478,830|
|2019.11.11||Nitto ATP Finals||RR||400||2021.11.08|
|2021.05.10||ATP Masters 1000 Rome||W||1,000||2022.05.16|
|2019.08.05||ATP Masters 1000 Canada||W||500||2022.08.08|
|2019.10.28||ATP Masters 1000 Paris||SF||360||2021.11.01|
|2019.05.06||ATP Masters 1000 Madrid||SF||180||2022.05.09|
|2019.04.15||ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo||SF||180||2022.04.18|
|2019.03.04||ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells||SF||180||2021.10.18|
|2019.10.07||ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai||-||0||2021.10.18|