Spanish professional tennis player, currently on number 3, Rafael Nadal Parera was born 3 June 1986 in Manacor, Balearic Islands, Spain. His father is Sebastián Nadal who owns an insurance company, glass and window company and a restaurant. His mother is Ana María Parera and he also has a younger sister named María Isabel. As a tennis player Nadal the “King of Clay” doesn’t really need an introduction. The man has won the most number of Masters 1000 and Masters 500 titles. On this list, we are sharing 10 Interesting Facts About Rafael Nadal that you might don’t know.
1. His Introduction to the Game:
Rafael Nadal was introduced to tennis at age three by his uncle Toni Nadal. Toni Nadal was a former professional tennis player who started to work with Nadal as soon as he saw potential in him. At the age of 8, Rafael Nadal won an under-12 regional tennis championship. At the age of 12, he won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group. By the age of 15, he became a professional tennis player.
2. His Younger Days:
At the age of 14 talented Nadal was approached by the Spanish Tennis Federation. They requested him to move to Barcelona to continue his training in tennis. But his family turned down the offer thinking his education would be affected by this. Nadal was also quite good at playing football and he was told to choose between the two and he chose tennis.
In 2002, when he was 16 years old, he reached the semifinals of the Boy’s Singles tournament at Wimbledon. At the age of 17, he became the youngest man to reach the third round at Wimbledon after beating Roger Federer. That year he also made it to the list of 100 Best Tennis Players in the ATP ranking. He played his career’s first French Open and won it at the age of 19.
3. His Most Notable Wins:
If we were to mention all the achievements of Rafael Nadal Parera, then it would need a list of its own. Among his most notable wins, Nadal’s Monte Carlo Masters wins are known worldwide. He won the title 8 times in a row from 2005 to 2012. Nadal won 16 consecutive matches along with 3 consecutive tournaments in 2005.
Rafael Nadal has won 18 Grand Slam titles, including 12 French Open singles titles which are a record. He also holds a great record at the Olympics. He is one of only two men to win all four majors and Olympic gold. Nadal won his eighth French Open title by defeating Spaniard David Ferrer in 2013. Nadal won his ninth French Open championship in 2014. Nadal won the French Open for a record-setting 10th time in 2017.
4. Best Match in Tennis History:
Earlier in his life, Nadal was famous for being the nephew of the Soccer player, Miguel Angel Nadal. But of course, he didn’t take long to make his own name in the world. The match between Nadal and Federer that was played at the 2008 Wimbledon is often regarded as the best match is tennis history. It was the longest final played in the history of the tournament. The match lasted for 4 hours and 48 minutes. Though at the end Nadal lifted the trophy. Also, only one active player has a winning record against Nadal, and it’s none other than Nikolay Davydenko. Nadal is also the youngest to win the Davis Cup at 18.
5. His Autobiography & The Fear Of Dogs:
Nadal publishes his autobiography in 2010 called Rafa-My Story. In the beautiful book along his journey, he also mentioned he is afraid of dogs and how he fears their intentions. He is also afraid of darkness.
6. The Rafael Nadal Foundation:
The Rafael Nadal Foundation is known for helping underprivileged kids across Spain and India. He along with girlfriend Xisca Perelló and mother Ana María Parera works to help kids through the foundation. Nadal even started a tennis school at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India, named Nadal Tennis School.
7. Beyond The Tennis Courts:
Nadal is said to be very close with his family especially with his sister. He loves to play football and his favourite clubs are Real Madrid and Real Mallorca. He has also appeared in a Shakira video in 2009 called Gypsy. He also loves to play games on Playstation and drink Coca-Cola. He is also into fishing and literature, his favourite book is reported ‘La Ciudad de Las Bestias’ by Isabel Allende. When he was young he loved Goku from the Japanese anime Dragon Ball. He also likes to play Golf and Poker.
8. King Of Clay:
Nadal won 81 matches on clay which is the longest streak for any player on any surface. This earned him the name “King of Clay.” In 2011, Nadal was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the year.
9. The Rafael Nadal Asteroid:
In May 2013, an Asteroid was named after Nadal. The Observatorio Astronómico de Mallorca’ observatory decided to call the main-belt asteroid number 128,036, Rafael Nadal.
10. Rituals before Game:
Rafael Nadal has few tics or rituals that he likes to follow. These rituals include taking a cold shower before a match, and his habit of biting his trophies. While serving on clay courts, he touches his shorts, then stretch his left shoulder, then right shoulder, touch his left ear, brushes his nose, touches his right ear, and then finally brush his nose.