Rafael Nadal Celebrity Life
With 19 Grand Slam singles, which is the second-most in all of the time for a male, and a face that is surprisingly similar to capybaras, Rafael Nadal is easily one of the most accomplished tennis players in the history of time.
CNN called him the 'dragon ball of tennis' and yet there are many things we don't know about him.
The Origin of Rafael Nadal
Born June 3, 1986, Rafael Nadal is currently rank No. 1 in men's singles as per the Association of Tennis Players. He started playing tennis when he was only 3 years old and won his first big trophy at a regional championship at the age of 8 and then the national championship at the age of 12.
Although he was born right-handed, on the suggestion from his coach, he started playing left-handed with a two-handed backhand.
His first and most influential coach, Toni Nadal is his uncle. In fact, the Nadal family is immensely successful in sports with Miguel Angel Nadal being a Spanish footballer, nicknamed 'The Beast'. Rafael was born in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain where he still lives with his wife Maria Perelló.
Biggest Awards and Recognition
Although Rafael has won a tremendous number of trophies, some moments in his career are clearly turning points.
His 2005 win against then-World No. 1 Roger Federer, that too on his own birthday, followed by winning the finals made him the first teenager to win a Grand Slam singles title since the 1990s.
In 2006, he pushed his game even further by winning his second French Open title and becoming the first player to defeat Federer in a final Grand Slam tournament.
The turning point for Nadal was his 2008 when he not only won two Grand Slams back to back but also won the Olympic Gold for tennis. These wins along with others won him the world rank No. 1 in tennis, ending the four and a half year reign of Roger Federer.
In 2010, he completed his career glad slam and got his spot back at No. 1 after having lost it for a year in the middle, battling injuries and expectations. Since then, Nadal has won his second Olympic Gold in 2016 and currently holds the spot of World Rank No. 1 (2019).
On-court Style of Rafael
Lauded as 'The King of Clay', Nadal is the only Open Era player with the most clay-court titles (59). He has rapidly evolved and been successful on other surfaces which turned him into an all-court player and solidified his claim to be the greatest player of all time.
A Jimmy Connors quote about Nadal puts his style into perspective, "He's built out of a mold that I think I came from also, that you walk out there, you give everything you have from the very first point to the end no matter what the score." Connors believes that Nadal isn't afraid to lay it all out on the line even if people can see it.
His initial "pirate" look with sleeveless shirts and capri pants which became famous have been replaced with a polished image. With an endorsement of all his clothing and footwear from Nike, Nadal is now a brand in himself.
Off-court Celebrity and Fame
Sponsored by Kia Motors since 2006, Rafael has several brands backing him. He became the new face of Emporio Armani Underwear replacing footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and being the first tennis player to be associated with that brand.
From stylized Nike shoes with 'Rafa' written on it to adding his brand value to his childhood favorite biscuits from Majorca, Quely, he really has created a unique image for himself.
In 2010, he featured in a music video of pop sensation Shakira, "Gypsy", chosen because of he too like her, is very committed and started his career when he was very young.
After a special request by the observatory in Mallorca, an asteroid discovered by them in 2003 was named 128036 Rafaelnadal by the International Astronomical Union.
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