Rafael Nadal


He is widely regarded as the greatest clay court player in history, and due to his dominance and success on the surface, he has been titled “The King of Clay”. His evolution into an all court threat has established him as one of the greatest players in tennis history, with some considering Nadal to be the greatest player of all time.

Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, Mallorca, his parents being Sebastián Nadal and Ana Maria Parera (now divorced). He has a younger sister named María Isabel. His uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal, is a former professional football player who played for teams like RCD Mallorca, FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Nadal is a fan of football teams Real Madrid and RCD Mallorca. On the other hand, his other uncle, Toni Nadal, is a former professional tennis player, who recognized his talent and initiated him in the mysteries of tennis at the age of 3 years old. Toni Nadal is the only coach Rafael had so far.

At the age of 8 years old, Rafael Nadal won a regional tennis championship for children under 12 years, but was also a promising football player. Toni Nadal encouraged his nephew to play with his left hand, a great advantage in tennis, and to do the short forehand with both hands. When he was 12 years old, Nadal won the Spanish and European tennis championships in his age group. He regularly went to tennis workouts courts, as well as football pitches. At some point, his father made him choose between tennis and football so that his studies won’t be abandoned. Rafael chose tennis.

At the age of 14 years old, Spanish Tennis Federation asked the boy to leave Mallorca for Barcelona to continue his training and to increase his performance in tennis. Nadal’s family refused this request. They feared that such a change might affect his education, but also because Toni Nadal said: “You don’t have to go to America or elsewhere to become a good athlete. You can do this at home.” The decision to stay in Mallorca costed him. Rafael received less support from the Federation and his father was forced to bear the costs. In May 2001, he defeated former winner of a Grand Slam tournament, Pat Cash in a friendly match on clay. At the age of 16 years old, Nadal entered the world ranking of the best 50 players. In 2003 he was awarded the prize for the best new player to enter the circuit.

In 2004, Nadal played his first match against world No.1, Roger Federer at the Miami Masters, defeating him in a minimum number of sets. He misses the entire clay season however, including the French Open because of a left ankle fracture. Aged 18 years and 6 months, Nadal became the youngest player to get a win and conquer the title in a Davis Cup final. Defeating world No.2,  Andy Roddick, he helped Spain get a 3-2 victory against the United States. He finished the year ranked 51.

Nadal dominated during the spring clay season. He broke the record of Andre Agassi from 1988 of 23 consecutive matches won by a teenager, managing to win 24 matches. Nadal won the tournament Conde de Godo in Barcelona, as well as the Monte Carlo Masters in 2005 and the Masters of Rome that same year, defeating Roland Garros finalist of 2004, Guillermo Coria.

2008 is one of the best years of Nadal. He won the French Open and Wimbledon, where he beat rival Roger Federer in a match which is considered by some experts the best tennis match of all time. 2010 is undoubtedly the best year of Rafael Nadal, when he won three grand-slam tournaments (Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open) and 4 other Masters Series tournaments, regaining its world leadership.

Rafael Nadal started the year 2011 with a win in the tournament of Abu Dhabi, managing to defeat his rival, Roger Federer in the final. In the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, Australian Open, Nadal managed to reach the quarterfinals where he was defeated in three sets by countryman David Ferrer. It was mentioned that the Spaniard was injured in that game and he could not perform at his maximum potential.

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, No.5 ATP in 2016, won the demonstrative match in Abu Dhabi (UAE), for the third time in his career. In the final, the Spaniard defeated Canadian, Milos Raonic (No.4 ATP). Thus, Nadal won for the third time in his career the demonstrative competition trophy in Abu Dhabi, after those won in 2010 and 2011.

Other personalities

Discover some other popular persons who live / lived in Spain.


Diego Velázquez

Was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV and one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, […]

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the […]


Ignatius of Loyola

Was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and, on 19 April 1541, became its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. Loyola’s devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by absolute obedience to the […]

Julio Iglesias

Julio Iglesias

Is a Spanish singer and songwriter who has sold over 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages, has released over 80 albums, and has more than 2.600 gold and platinum records certified, making him one of the best selling artists of all time and the best selling Latin artist in history. Julio Iglesias was born […]

Francisco Goya

Francisco Goya

He is considered the most important Spanish artist of late 18th and early 19th centuries and throughout his long career was a commentator and chronicler of his era. Immensely successful in his lifetime, Goya is often referred to as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Francisco de Goya […]

Francisco Franco

Francisco Franco

Was a Spanish general and the Caudillo of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. Coming from a military family background, he became the youngest general in Spain and one of the youngest generals in Europe in the 1920’s. As a conservative monarchist, he rejected the removal of the monarchy and its replacement with […]

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.