Rafael Nadal Playing Style and His
Rafael Nadal at 2010 US Open.
|Full name||Rafael Nadal Parera|
|Residence||Manacor, Majorca, Spain|
|Date of birth||3 June 1986 (1986-06-03)|
|Place of birth||Manacor, Majorca|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||85 kg (190 lb; 13.4 st)|
|Plays||Left-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career prize money||$37,396,162 |
|Career record||472–101 (82.4%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (18 August 2008)|
|Current ranking||No. 1 (7 June 2010)|
|Grand Slam results|
|Australian Open||W (2009)|
|French Open||W (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010)|
|Wimbledon||W (2008, 2010)|
|US Open||W (2010)|
|Tour Finals||F (2010)|
|Olympic Games||Gold medal (2008)|
|Highest ranking||No. 26 (8 August 2005)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2004, 2005)|
|US Open||SF (2004)|
|Last updated on: 1 December 2010.|
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for Spain|
Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (Catalan pronunciation: [rəˈfɛɫ nəˈðaɫ pəˈɾeɾə]; Spanish pronunciation: [rafaˈel naˈðal paˈɾeɾa]; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player currently ranked No. 1 in the world. He is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. 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 of all time. Nadal has won nine Grand Slam singles titles, the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles, a record 18 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, and also was part of the Spain Davis Cup team that won the finals in 2004, 2008 and 2009. He completed the career Grand Slam by winning the 2010 US Open, being the 7th player in history, and the youngest in the open era, to achieve it. He is the second male player to complete the Career Golden Slam (winner of the four grand slams and the Olympic Gold medal) after Andre Agassi.
Nadal was ranked World No. 2, behind Roger 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.
In April 2002, at 15 years and 10 months, the World No. 762 Nadal won his first ATP match, defeating Ramón Delgado, and became the ninth player in the open era to do so before the age of 16. The following year, Nadal won two Challenger titles and finished the year in the top 50. At his Wimbledon debut in 2003, Nadal became the youngest man to reach the third round since Boris Becker in 1984. During 2004, Nadal played his first match against World No. 1 Roger Federer at the 2004 Miami Masters, and won in straight sets. He is one of the six players that defeated Federer that year (along with Tim Henman, Albert Costa, Gustavo Kuerten, Dominik Hrbatý and Tomáš Berdych). He missed most of the clay court season, including the French Open, because of a stress fracture in his left ankle. Nadal at 18 years and six months became the youngest player to register a singles victory in a Davis Cup final for a winning nation. By beating World No. 2 Andy Roddick, he helped Spain clinch the 2004 title over the United States in a 3–2 win. He finished the year ranked World No. 51.
Immediately after Wimbledon, Nadal won 16 consecutive matches and three consecutive tournaments, bringing his ranking to World No. 2 on 25 July 2005.
Nadal started his North American summer hard court season by defeating Agassi in the final of the 2005 Canada Masters but lost in the first round of the 2005 Cincinnati Masters. Nadal was seeded second at the 2005 US Open, where he was upset in the third round by World No. 49 James Blake in four sets.
In September, he defeated Coria in the final of the China Open in Beijing and won both of his Davis Cup matches against Italy. In October, he won his fourth ATP Masters Series title of the year, defeating Ivan Ljubičić in the final of the 2005 Madrid Masters. He then suffered a foot injury that prevented him from competing in the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup.
Both Nadal and Federer won eleven singles titles and four ATP Masters Series titles in 2005. Nadal broke Mats Wilander's previous teenage record of nine in 1983. Eight of Nadal's titles were on clay and the remainder were on hard courts. Nadal won 79 matches, second only to Federer's 81. Nadal won the Golden Bagel Award for 2005 with eleven 6–0 sets during the year. Also, he earned the highest year-end ranking ever by a Spaniard and the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year award.
Nadal missed the Australian Open due to a foot injury. In February, he lost in the semifinals of the first tournament he played, the Open 13 tournament in Marseille, France. Two weeks later, he handed Roger Federer his first loss of the year in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Men's Open (in 2006, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were the only two men who defeated Federer). To complete the spring hard court season, Nadal was upset in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, by James Blake, and was upset in the second round of the 2006 Miami Masters.
On European clay, Nadal won all four tournaments he entered and 24 consecutive matches. He defeated Federer in the final of the Masters Series Monte Carlo in four sets. The following week, he defeated Tommy Robredo in the final of the Open Sabadell Atlántico tournament in Barcelona. After a one week break, Nadal won the Masters Series Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, defeating Federer in a fifth set tiebreaker in the final after saving two match points and equaling Björn Borg's tally of 16 ATP titles won as a teenager. Nadal broke Argentinian Guillermo Vilas's 29-year male record of 53 consecutive clay-court match victories by winning his first round match at the French Open. Vilas presented Nadal with a trophy but commented later that Nadal's feat was less impressive than his own because Nadal's winning streak covered two years and was accomplished by adding easy tournaments to his schedule. Nadal went on to play Federer in the final of the French Open. The first two sets of the match were hardly competitive as the rivals traded 6–1 sets. Nadal won the third set easily and served for the match in the fourth set before Federer broke him and forced a tiebreaker. Nadal won the tiebreaker and became the first player to defeat Federer in a Grand Slam final.
On grass, Nadal injured his shoulder while playing a quarterfinal match against Lleyton Hewitt at the Artois Championships, played at Queen's Club in London. Nadal was unable to complete the match, which ended his 26-match winning streak. Nadal was seeded second at Wimbledon but was two points from defeat against American qualifier Robert Kendrick in the second round before coming back to win in five sets. In the third round, Nadal defeated World No. 20 Andre Agassi in straight sets at Agassi's last career match at Wimbledon. Nadal also won his next three matches in straight sets, which set up his first Wimbledon final, which was against Federer, who had won this tournament the three previous years. Nadal was the first Spanish man since Manuel Santana in 1966 to reach the Wimbledon final, but Federer won the match in four sets 6–0 7–6(5) 6–7(2) 6–3 to win his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title.
During the lead up to the US Open, Nadal played the two Masters Series tournaments in North America. He was upset in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Nadal was seeded second at the US Open but lost in the quarterfinals to World No. 54 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia in four sets.
Nadal played only three tournaments the remainder of the year. Joachim Johansson, ranked World No. 690, upset Nadal in the second round of the Stockholm Open 6–4, 7–6. The following week, Nadal lost to Tomáš Berdych in the quarterfinals of the year's last Masters Series tournament, the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid. During the round-robin stage of the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup, Nadal lost to James Blake but defeated Nikolay Davydenko and Robredo. Because of those two victories, Nadal qualified for the semifinals, where he lost to Federer 6–4, 7–5. This was Nadal's third loss in nine career matches with Federer.
Nadal went on to become the first player since Andre Agassi in 1994–95 to finish the year as the World No. 2 in consecutive years.
Nadal started the year by playing in six hard court tournaments. He lost in the semifinals and first round of his first two tournaments and then lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to eventual runner-up Fernando González. After another quarterfinal loss at the Dubai Tennis Championships, he won the 2007 Indian Wells Masters before Novak Djoković defeated him in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Miami Masters.
He had comparatively more success after returning to Europe to play five clay court tournaments. He won the titles at the Masters Series Monte Carlo, the Open Sabadell Atlántico in Barcelona, and the Masters Series Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome before losing to Roger Federer in the final of the Masters Series Hamburg. This defeat ended his 81-match winning streak on clay, which is the male open era record for consecutive wins on a single surface. He then rebounded to win the French Open for the third straight year, defeating Federer once again in the final.
Between the tournaments in Barcelona and Rome, Nadal defeated Federer in the "Battle of Surfaces" exhibition match in Majorca, Spain, with the tennis court being half grass and half clay.
Nadal played the Artois Championships at Queen's Club in London for the second consecutive year. As in 2006, Nadal was upset in the quarterfinals. Nadal then won consecutive five-set matches during the third and fourth rounds of Wimbledon before being beaten by Federer in the five-set final. This was Federer's first five-set match at Wimbledon since 2001.
In July, Nadal won the clay court Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, which proved to be his last title of the year. He played three important tournaments during the North American summer hard court season. He was a semifinalist at the Masters Series Rogers Cup in Montreal before losing his first match at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the second-seeded player at the US Open but was defeated in the fourth round by David Ferrer.
After a month-long break from tournament tennis, Nadal played the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid and the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. David Nalbandian upset him in the quarterfinals and final of those tournaments. To end the year, Nadal won two of his three round robin matches to advance to the semifinals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, where Federer defeated him 6–4, 6–1.
During the second half of the year, Nadal battled a knee injury suffered during the Wimbledon final. In addition, there were rumors at the end of the year that the foot injury he suffered during 2005 caused long term damage, which were given credence by coach Toni Nadal's claim that the problem was "serious". Nadal and his spokesman strongly denied this, however, with Nadal himself calling the story "totally false".
Nadal generally plays an aggressive, behind-the-baseline game founded on heavy topspin groundstrokes, consistency, speedy footwork and tenacious court coverage thus making him an aggressive counterpuncher. who hits well on the run, constructing winning plays from seemingly defensive positions. He also plays very fine dropshots, which work especially well because his heavy topspin often forces opponents to the back of the court. Nadal is primarily a baseliner, although he has been noted by several commentators (including John McEnroe) as an excellent volleyer, which has contributed to his reaching four Wimbledon finals on grass, winning two of them, and has been observed approaching the net more often since 2009. Known for his athleticism and speed around the court, Nadal is an excellent defender
In recent years, Nadal employs a full western grip forehand, often with a "lasso-whip" follow through, where his left arm hits through the ball and finishes above his left shoulder — as opposed to a more traditional finish across the body or around his opposite shoulder. Nadal's forehand groundstroke form allows him to hit shots with heavy topspin — more so than many of his contemporaries. San Francisco tennis researcher John Yandell used a high-speed video camera and special software to count the average number of revolutions of a tennis ball hit full force by Nadal. "The first guys we did were Sampras and Agassi. They were hitting forehands that in general were spinning about 1,800 to 1,900 revolutions per minute. Federer is hitting with an amazing amount of spin, too, right? 2,700 revolutions per minute. Well, we measured one forehand Nadal hit at 4,900. His average was 3,200." While Nadal's shots tend to land short of the baseline, the characteristically high bounces his forehands achieve tend to mitigate the advantage an opponent would normally gain from capitalizing on a short ball. Although his forehand is based on heavy topspin, he can hit the ball deep and flat with a more orthodox follow through for clean winners.
Nadal's serve was initially considered a weak point in his game, although his improvements in both first serve points won and break points saved since 2005 have allowed him to consistently compete for and win major titles on faster surfaces. Nadal relies on the consistency of his serve to gain a strategic advantage in points, rather than going for service winners. However, before the 2010 season, he altered his service motion, arriving in the trophy pose earlier and pulling the racket lower during the trophy pose. Before the 2010 U.S. Open, Nadal modified his service grip to a more continental one. These two changes in his serve have increased its average speed by around 10 mph, maxing out at 135 mph (217 km), allowing him to win more free points on his serve.
Nadal's mental resilience and strategic approach to the game are other noted strengths. Nadal is able to avoid discouragement regardless of match score, allowing him to singularly focus on winning the current point and gaining an advantage. As a strategic player, Nadal can assess outside variables such as court surface, weather conditions, and his opponent's tactics in order to adjust his own play to best adapt to present conditions.
Although once considered a clay court specialist, Nadal has shed that label due to his success on the tournaments played on other surfaces, including holding Grand Slams simultaneously on grass, hard courts, and clay on two separate occasions, winning five Masters series titles on hardcourt, and winning the Olympic gold medal on hardcourt. Despite praise for Nadal's talent and skill, some have questioned his longevity in the sport, citing his build and playing style as conducive to injury. Nadal himself has admitted to the physical toll hard courts place on ATP Tour players, calling for a reevaluated tour schedule featuring fewer hard court tournaments.
ITF Grand Slams records-
- These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis.
|ITF Grand Slams||Year(s)||Record accomplished||Player tied|
|Australian Open |
|Career Golden Slam||Andre Agassi|
|Australian Open |
|Career Grand Slam||Rod Laver |
|Australian Open – French Open – Wimbledon – US Open||2005–2010||At least two Grand Slams on grass, clay, and hard courts||Mats Wilander|
|French Open – U.S. Open||2010||Winner of grand slams on clay, grass, and hard court in calendar year||Stands alone|
|French Open – U.S. Open||2010||Winner of three consecutive grand slams in calendar year||Rod Laver|
|French Open – U.S. Open||2008–2010||Simultaneous holder of grand slams on clay, grass, and hard court||Roger Federer|
|Olympics – U.S. Open||2008–2010||Simultaneous holder of Olympic singles gold medal and grand slams on clay, grass, and hard court||Stands alone|
|Olympics – Wimbledon||2008–2010||Simultaneous holder of Olympic singles gold medal and Wimbledon||Stands alone|
|Olympics – French Open||2008–2010||Simultaneous holder of Olympic singles gold medal and three grand slams||Andre Agassi|
|Olympics – U.S. Open||2008–2010||Simultaneous holder of Olympic singles gold medal and clay & hard court grand slams||Andre Agassi|
|Olympics – U.S. Open||2008–2010||Simultaneous holder of Olympic singles gold medal and U.S. Open||Andre Agassi|
|French Open||2005–2010||5 titles in 6 years||Stands alone|
|French Open||2005–2009||31 consecutive match wins||Stands alone|
|French Open—Wimbledon||2008, 2010||1 "Channel Slam": Both tournaments the same year||Rod Laver |
|French Open—Wimbledon||2008, 2010||Winner of multiple "Channel Slam" singles titles||Bjorn Borg|
|French Open||2005–2008||4 consecutive wins||Björn Borg|
|French Open||2005–2008||4 consecutive finals||Björn Borg |
|French Open||2008, 2010||Most French Open championships without losing a set (2)||Björn Borg|
|Australian Open |
|2005–2010||Finalist in all the 4 majors||Rod Laver |
ATP Masters records-
|ATP Masters Series||Year(s)||Record accomplished||Player tied|
|Monte Carlo Masters—Madrid Masters||2005–2010||Most Masters singles titles (18)||Stands alone|
|Monte Carlo Masters—Roland Garros||2010||1 "Clay Slam": 3 Masters series on clay and Roland Garros||Stands alone|
|Monte Carlo Masters||2005–2010||6 consecutive titles||Stands alone|
|Rome Masters||2005–2010||5 titles in 6 years||Stands alone|
|ATP Masters||2005||Most Titles in a season – 4||Roger Federer (2005 & 2006)|
|ATP Masters||2008–2010||21 consecutive Quarter-Finals||Stands alone|
|ATP Masters||2008||Consecutive tournaments won on 3 different surfaces||Roger Federer (2004)|
|ATP Masters||2005–2010||Most consecutive years winning at least ONE Masters Title – 6||Stands alone|
|Monte Carlo Masters—Rome Masters||2005–2007 |
|Most years winning both Titles – 5||Stands alone|
|ATP Masters||2007–2010||Consecutive years winning at least 3 Masters Titles – 4||Stands alone|
Equipment and endorsements
Nadal has appeared in advertising campaigns for Kia Motors as a global ambassador for the company. In May 2008, Kia released a claymation viral ad featuring Nadal in a tennis match with an alien. Nadal also has an endorsement agreement with Universal DVDs.
Nike serves as Nadal's clothing and shoe sponsor. Nadal's signature on-court attire entailed a variety of sleeveless shirts paired with 3/4 length capri pants. For the 2009 season, Nadal adopted more-traditional on-court apparel. Nike encouraged Nadal to update his look in order to reflect his new status as the sport's top player at that time and associate Nadal with a style that, while less distinctive than his "pirate" look, would be more widely emulated by consumers. At warmup tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Doha, Nadal played matches in a polo shirt specifically designed for him by Nike, paired with shorts cut above the knee. Nadal's new, more conventional style carried over to the 2009 Australian Open, where he was outfitted with Nike's Bold Crew Men's Tee and Nadal Long Check Shorts. Nadal wears Nike's Air CourtBallistec 2.3 tennis shoes, bearing various customizations throughout the season, including his nickname "Rafa" on the right shoe and a stylized bull logo on the left.
Becomes the face of Lanvin's L’Homme Sport cologne, launched April 2009.
Nadal uses an AeroPro Drive racquet with a 4 1/4-inch L2 grip. As of the 2010 season, Nadal's racquets are painted to resemble the new Babolat AeroPro Drive with Cortex GT racquet in order to market a current model which Babolat sells. Nadal uses no replacement grip, and instead wraps two overgrips around the handle. He used Duralast 15L strings until the 2010 season, when he switched to Babolat's new, black-colored, RPM Blast string. Nadal's rackets are always strung at 55 lb (25 kg), regardless of which surface or conditions he is playing in.
As of January 2010, Rafa is the international ambassador for Quely, a company from his native Majorca that manufactures biscuits, bakery and chocolate coated products; he has consumed their products ever since he was a young child.
In 2010, luxury watchmaker Richard Mille announced that he had developed an ultra-light wristwatch in collaboration with Nadal called the Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon watch. The watch is made of titanium and lithium and is valued at US$525,000; Nadal was involved in the design and testing of the watch on the tennis court. During the 2010 French Open, Men's Fitness reported that Nadal wore the Richard Mille watch on the court as part of a sponsorship deal with the Swiss watchmaker.
Nadal replaces Cristiano Ronaldo as the new face of Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans for the Italian fashion label's upcoming spring/summer 2011 collection, in a campaign that will launch in February. This is the first time that the label has chosen a tennis player for the job; association football has ruled lately prior to Ronaldo, David Beckham graced the ads.
Nadal began the year in India, where he was comprehensively beaten by Mikhail Youzhny in the final of the Chennai Open. Nadal then reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for the first time. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Nadal 6–2, 6–3, 6–2 in the semi-final of 2008 Australian Open. Tsonga's semi-final performance was characterized by his powerful and precise serve, finesse volleys, and aggressive baseline play; it was a performance that drew the Melbourne crowd to their feet. Tsonga did not face a break point until the third set while breaking the Spaniard five times in the match. Nadal also reached the final of the Miami Masters for the second time.
During the spring clay court season, Nadal won four singles titles and defeated Roger Federer in three finals. He beat Federer at the Masters Series Monte Carlo for the third straight year, capturing his open era record fourth consecutive title there. He won in straight sets, despite Federer holding a 4–0 lead in the second set. He defeated Federer in the final for the third straight year, but this was the most lopsided of all their matches, as Nadal only lost four games and gave Federer his first bagel since 1999. This was Nadal's fourth consecutive French title, tying Björn Borg's all-time record. Nadal became the fourth male player during the open era to win the same Grand Slam singles tournament four consecutive years (the others being Borg, Pete Sampras, and Federer). Nadal then won his fourth consecutive title at the Open Sabadell Atlántico tournament in Barcelona. A few weeks later, Nadal won his first title at the Masters Series Hamburg, defeating Federer in the three-set final. He then won the French Open, becoming the fifth man in the open era to win a Grand Slam singles title without losing a set.
Nadal then played Federer in the final of Wimbledon for the third consecutive year, in the most anticipated match of their rivalry. Nadal entered the final on a 23-match winning streak, including his first career grass court title at the Artois Championships staged at Queen's Club in London prior to Wimbledon. Federer had won his record fifth grass court title at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, and then reached the Wimbledon final without losing a set. Unlike their previous two Wimbledon finals, though, Federer was not the prohibitive favorite, and many analysts picked Nadal to win. They played the longest (in terms of time on court, not in terms of numbers of games) final in Wimbledon history, and because of rain delays, Nadal won the fifth set 9–7 in near-darkness. The match was widely lauded as the greatest Wimbledon final ever, with some tennis critics even calling it the greatest match in tennis history. By winning his first Wimbledon title, Nadal became the third man in the open era to win both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year, after Rod Laver in 1969 and Borg in 1978–80, (Federer later accomplished this the following year) as well as the second Spaniard to win Wimbledon. He also ended Federer's record streak of five consecutive Wimbledon titles and 65 straight wins on grass courts. This is also the first time that Nadal won two Grand Slams back to back.
After Wimbledon, Nadal extended his winning streak to a career-best 32 matches. He won his second Rogers Cup title in Toronto, and then made it into the semifinals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a result, Nadal clinched the US Open Series and, combined with Federer's early-round losses in both of those tournaments, finally earned the World No. 1 ranking on 18 August, officially ending Federer's record four-and-a-half year reign at the top.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nadal defeated Novak Djoković of Serbia in the semifinals 6–4, 1–6, 6–4 and Fernando González of Chile in the final to win his first Olympic gold medal. Nadal became the first male player ranked in the top five to win the gold medal.
At the US Open, Nadal was the top-seeded player for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament. He did not lose a set during his first three matches, defeating qualifiers in the first and second rounds and Viktor Troicki in the third round. He then needed four sets to defeat both Sam Querrey in the fourth round and Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he lost to eventual runner up, Andy Murray 6–2, 7–6(5), 4–6, 6–4. Later in the year in Madrid, Nadal helped Spain defeat the United States in the Davis Cup semifinals.
At the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid, Nadal lost in the semifinals to Gilles Simon 3–6, 7–5, 7–6(6). However, his performance at the event guaranteed that he would become the first Spaniard during the open era to finish the year as the World No. 1. Two weeks later at the BNP Paribas Masters in France, Nadal reached the quarterfinals, where he faced Nikolay Davydenko. Nadal lost the first set 6–1 before retiring in the second with a knee injury. The following week, Nadal announced his withdrawal from the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, citing tendinitis of the knee. On 10 November, Nadal withdrew from Spain's Davis Cup final against Argentina, as his knee injury had not healed completely.
Nadal's first official ATP tour event for the year was the 250 series Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. After his first-round match with Fabrice Santoro, Nadal was awarded the 2008 ATP World Tour Champion trophy. Nadal eventually lost in the quarter-finals to Gaël Monfils. Nadal also entered and won the tournament's doubles event with partner Marc López, defeating the World No. 1 doubles team of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić in the final. As noted by statistician Greg Sharko, this was the first time since 1990 that the World No. 1 singles player had played the World No. 1 doubles player in a final.
At the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal won his first five matches without dropping a set before defeating compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the semi-finals, the longest match in Australian Open history at 5 hours and 14 minutes. This win set up a championship match with Roger Federer — their first meeting ever in a hard court Grand Slam tournament and nineteenth meeting overall. Nadal defeated Federer in five sets to earn his first hard court Grand Slam singles title, making him the first Spaniard to win the Australian Open and the fourth male tennis player—after Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, and Andre Agassi to win Grand Slam singles titles on three different surfaces. This win also made Nadal the first male tennis player to hold three Grand Slam singles titles on three different surfaces at the same time.
Nadal then played the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. In the final, he lost to second-seeded Murray in three sets. During the final, Nadal called a trainer to attend to a tendon problem with his right knee, which notably affected his play in the final set. Although this knee problem was not associated with Nadal's right knee tendonitis, it was serious enough to cause him to withdraw from the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships a week later.
In March, Nadal helped Spain defeat Serbia in a Davis Cup World Group first round tie on clay in Benidorm, Spain. Nadal defeated Janko Tipsarević and Novak Djokovic. The win over World No. 3 Djokovic was Nadal's twelfth consecutive Davis Cup singles match win and boosted his career win–loss record against Djokovic to 11–4, including 6–0 on clay.
In popular culture-
In February 2010 Rafael Nadal was featured in the music video of "Gypsy", the forthcoming single from Shakira and part of her album release She Wolf. In explaining why she chose Nadal for the video, Shakira was quoted as saying in an interview with the Latin American Herald Tribune: "I thought that maybe I needed someone I could in some way identify with. And Rafael Nadal is a person who has been totally committed to his career since he was very young. Since he was 17, I believe." She added about "Gypsy": "I've been on the road since I was very, very young, so that's where the gypsy metaphor comes from."
Grand Slam performance timeline:
To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the 2010 US Open.
|Tournament||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||Career SR||Career W–L||Career Win %|
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
Grand Slam Finals-
Singles: 11 (9 titles, 2 runner-ups)
|Outcome||Year||Championship||Surface||Opponent in Final||Score in Final|
|Winner||2005||French Open||Clay||Mariano Puerta||6–7(6), 6–3, 6–1, 7–5|
|Winner||2006||French Open (2)||Clay||Roger Federer||1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(4)|
|Runner-up||2006||Wimbledon||Grass||Roger Federer||0–6, 6–7(5), 7–6(2), 3–6|
|Winner||2007||French Open (3)||Clay||Roger Federer||6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||2007||Wimbledon (2)||Grass||Roger Federer||6–7(7), 6–4, 6–7(3), 6–2, 2–6|
|Winner||2008||French Open (4)||Clay||Roger Federer||6–1, 6–3, 6–0|
|Winner||2008||Wimbledon||Grass||Roger Federer||6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5), 6–7(8), 9–7|
|Winner||2009||Australian Open||Hard||Roger Federer||7–5, 3–6, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–2|
|Winner||2010||French Open (5)||Clay||Robin Söderling||6–4, 6–2, 6–4|
|Winner||2010||Wimbledon (2)||Grass||Tomáš Berdych||6–3, 7–5, 6–4|
|Winner||2010||US Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2|
Singles: 1 (1 title):
|Outcome||Year||Championship||Surface||Opponent in the final||Score in the final|
|Winner||2008||Beijing Olympics||Hard||Fernando González||6–3, 7–6(2), 6–3|
Rafael Nadal's historic achievements-
Nadal captured four straight French Open singles titles from 2005 to 2008, joining Björn Borg in 2008 as the only other man to have won four consecutive singles titles there; Nadal's 2010 French Open title made him the only person to win five French Open titles in 6 years. In 2008, Nadal became the second Spanish man to win Wimbledon. Nadal is only the third male player in the open era to have won the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year, and the first since Borg in 1980. In 2009, Nadal became the first Spaniard to win the Australian Open, and the first player to simultaneously hold Grand Slams on clay, grass and hardcourt. He is also the first, and only player to date, to win three consecutive Grand Slam Tournaments in three different surfaces (clay, grass and hardcourt) in the same year. Nadal has won 18 ATP Masters titles, which is the most number of Masters titles won by a male player. By winning the 2010 US Open, Nadal completed a men's singles Career Grand Slam. He is the 7th male player in history to achieve this. In addition, Nadal has accomplished the Career Golden Slam and is the 2nd male player in history to attain this. Nadal has won ATP tournaments in 19 different countries.
Nadal has been especially successful on clay courts. He has a 29–2 record in clay court tournament finals and a 57–1 record in best-of-five-set matches on clay. He won four consecutive French Open titles from 2005–2008 and has won at least two of the three clay court Masters Series tournaments every year since 2005. He also owns the longest single-surface winning streak in the open era, having won 81 consecutive matches on clay from April 2005 to May 2007. As a result, some tennis critics and top players already regard him as the greatest clay-court player of all time.
Nadal began the year by participating in the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He defeated compatriot David Ferrer 7–6(3), 6–3 to reach his second final in the exhibition tournament. In the final, Nadal defeated Robin Söderling 7–6(3), 7–5.
Nadal participated in an Australian Open warm-up tournament, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open ATP 250 event in Doha, where he lost in the finals. He defeated Simone Bolelli of Italy 6–3, 6–3 in the first round and in the second round, Nadal defeated Potito Starace 6–2, 6–2. Nadal's progress continued in the quarterfinals when he was up 6–1, 2–0 against Steve Darcis of Belgium and who eventually retired from the match. He defeated fifth seed Viktor Troicki 6–1, 6–3, winning 11 straight games in the semi-finals. Nadal lost to Nikolay Davydenko 6–0, 6–7(8), 4–6 in the finals despite dominating in the opening set and holding two match points in the second set. Davydenko also defeated Roger Federer in the semifinals before advancing to the finals.
In the first round of the Australian Open, Nadal defeated Peter Luczak of Australia 7–6(0), 6–1, 6–4. In the second round, he beat Lukáš Lacko 6–2, 6–2, 6–2. In the third round, he was tested by Philipp Kohlschreiber, finally beating him 6–4, 6–2, 2–6, 7–5. In the fourth round, he beat Ivo Karlović of Croatia, 6–4, 4–6, 6–4, 6–4. In the quarter-finals, Nadal pulled out at 3–0 down in the third set against Andy Murray, having lost the first two sets 6–3, 7–6(2). After examining Nadal's knees, doctors told him that he should take two weeks of rest and then two weeks of rehabilitation.
Nadal reached the semifinals in singles at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where he was the defending champion; however, eventual champion Ivan Ljubičić defeated him in three sets. He and countryman LópezDaniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić. This boosted his doubles ranking 175 places to world number 66, whereas he was 241st before Indian Wells. After Indian Wells, Nadal reached the semi-finals of Sony Ericsson Open where he lost to eventual champion Andy Roddick in three sets. won the doubles title, though, as wildcard entrants against number one seeds
Nadal reached the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in Monaco after beating fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6–3, 6–2 in the semi-finals. This was Nadal's first tour final since Doha earlier in the year. He won the final with a 6–0, 6–1 score over his compatriot Fernando Verdasco. He lost 14 games throughout all five matches, the fewest he ever lost en route to a championship, and the final was the shortest Masters 1000 final in terms of games. With this win, Nadal became the first player in Open Era to win a tournament title for six straight years.
Unlike in previous years, Nadal next chose to skip the Barcelona tournament (despite being that event's five-time defending champion), and his next tournament was the 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia. He defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber, Victor Hănescu, and Stanlias Wawrinka all in straight sets to win his 57th straight match in April. In the semis, he faced a resilient Ernests Gulbis, who defeated Roger Federer earlier in the tournament and took Nadal to three sets, for the first time, this clay court season. Nadal eventually prevailed with a 6–4, 3–6, 6–4 in two hours and forty minutes. He then defeated compatriot David Ferrer in the final 7–5, 6–2 for his fifth title at Rome to equal Andre Agassi's record of winning 17 ATP Masters titles.
Nadal then entered the 2010 Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, where he had finished runner-up the previous year. Being one of the top eight seeds, he received a bye in the first round. In the second round, he defeated qualifier Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr in straight sets. He then played the six foot nine inch tall American John Isner. Nadal comfortably came through in straight sets, 7–5, 6–4. He defeated Gaël Monfils in the quarterfinals 6–1, 6–3 and his countryman Nicolás Almagro in the next round, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 semifinal, 4–6, 6–2, 6–2. The first set of his match against Almagro would be just the second set he lost on clay up to this point in 2010. Nadal then defeated longtime rival Roger Federer 6–4, 7–6(5), avenging his 2009 finals loss to Federer. The win gave him his 18th Masters title, breaking the all-time record. He became the first player to win all three clay court Masters titles in a single year and the first player to win three consecutive Masters events. Nadal moved back to No. 2 the following day.
Entering the French Open, many were expecting another Nadal-Federer final. However, this became impossible when rival Robin Söderling defeated Federer 3–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4 in the quarterfinals. The failure of Federer to reach the semi-finals allowed Nadal to regain the world number 1 ranking if he were to win the tournament. Nadal advanced to the final and defeated Soderling 6–4, 6–2, 6–4 to win the French Open. The win gave Nadal his seventh Grand Slam, tying him with John McEnroe; John Newcombe and Mats WilanderRoger Federer the all time record for weeks at No. 1. By this win, Nadal became the first man to win the three Masters series on clay and the French Open. This was dubbed by the media as the "Clay Slam". This victory at Roland Garros marked the second time (2008) that Nadal had won the French Open without dropping a single set (tying the record held by Björn Borg). With the win in Paris he also booked his place at the World Tour Finals in London, and became the first player to win five French Open titles in six years. on the all-time list, and allowed Nadal to reclaim the position of ATP World Number One denying his biggest rival
In June, Nadal entered the AEGON Championships—which he won in 2008—at the prestigious Queen's Club. He played singles and doubles at this grass court tournament as a warm up for the Wimbledon Championships. Being one of the top eight seeds, he received a bye in the first round. In the second round, where he played his first match on grass since winning Wimbledon 2008, he defeated Marcos Daniel easily, 6–2, 6–2. In the third round, he played Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, whom he defeated 7–6(4), 4–6, 6–4, to advance to the quarterfinals. However, he was defeated by compatriot Feliciano López 6–7(5), 4–6 in that quarterfinal stage.
At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships Nadal beat Kei Nishikori 6–2, 6–4, 6–4. Nadal was taken to the limit by Robin Haase winning 5–7,6–2,3–6,6–0,6–3. He defeated Philipp Petzschner in the third round. The match was a 5 set thriller with Nadal triumphing 6–4 4–6 6–7 6–2 6–3. During his match with Petzschener, Nadal was warned twice for receiving coaching from his coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, resulting in a $2,000 fine by Wimbledon officials. Allegedly, encouraging words for Nadal shouted during the match were some sort of coaching code signal. He met Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in the round of 16 and comfortably beat Mathieu 6–4, 6–2, 6–2. In the quarter-finals, he got past Robin Soderling of Sweden in 4 sets 3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–4), 6–1. He defeated Andy Murray in straight sets 6–4 7–6(8–6) 6–4 to reach his fourth Wimbledon final.
Nadal won the 2010 Wimbledon men's title by defeating Tomas Berdych in straight sets 6–3 7–5 6–4. After the win Nadal said "it is more than a dream for me" and thanked the crowd for being both kind and supportive to him and his adversary during the match and in the semi-final against Andy Murray. The win gave him a second Wimbledon title and an eighth career major title just past the age of 24. The win also gave Nadal his first "Old World Triple"; the last person to achieve this was Björn Borg in 1978 ("Old World Triple" is a term given to winning the Italian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon in the same year).
In his first hard-court tournament since Wimbledon, Nadal advanced to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup, along with No.2 Novak Djokovic, No.3 Roger Federer, and No.4 Andy Murray, after coming back from a one-set deficit to defeat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4. In the semifinal, defending champion Murray defeated Nadal 6–3, 6–4, becoming the only player to triumph over the Spaniard twice in 2010. Nadal also competed in the doubles with Djokovic in a one-time, high profile partnership of the world No.1 and No.2, the first such team since the Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe team in 1976. However, Nadal and Djokovic lost in the first round to Canadians Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil. The next week, Nadal was the top seed at the Cincinnati Masters, losing in the quarterfinals to 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.
At the 2010 US Open, Nadal was the top seed for the second time in three years. He defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili, Denis Istomin, Gilles Simon, number 23 seed Feliciano Lopez, number 8 seed Fernando Verdasco, and number 12 seed Mikhail Youzhny all without dropping a set, to reach his first US Open final, becoming only the eighth man in the Open Era to reach the final of all four majors, and at age 24 the second youngest ever to do so, behind only Jim Courier. In the final, he defeated Novak Djokovic 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2 which completed the Career Grand Slam for Nadal and he became the second male after Andre Agassi to complete a Career Golden Slam. Nadal also became the first man to win grand slams in clay, grass, and hardcourt in the same year, and the first to win the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969. Nadal and Mats Wilander are the only male players to win at least two Grand Slams each on clay, grass, and hardcourts in their careers. Nadal also became the first left-handed man to win the US Open since John McEnroe in 1984. Nadal's victory also clinched the year-end number one ranking for 2010, making Nadal only the third player (after Ivan Lendl in 1989 and Roger Federer in 2009) to regain the year-end number one ranking after having lost it.
Nadal began his Asian tour from 2010 PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok where he reached the semifinals, losing to compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Nadal was able to regroup, and at the 2010 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo (debut), he defeated Santiago Giraldo, Milos Raonic and Dmitry Tursunov. In the semifinals against Viktor Troicki, Nadal saved two match points in the deciding set tiebreaker to win it 9-7 in the end. In the final Nadal comfortably defeated Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-5 for his 7th title of the season.
Nadal next played in the 2010 Shanghai Rolex Masters in Shanghai, where he was the top seed, but lost to world #12 Jurgen Melzer in the third round, snapping his record streak of 21 consecutive Masters quarterfinals. On the 5th of November Nadal announced that he was pulling out of the Paris Masters due to tendinitis in his left shoulder.
At the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals in London, Nadal defeated Roddick 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the first match, Djokovic 7–5, 6–2 in the second match, and Berdych 7-6(3), 6-1 in the third match, to advance to the semifinals for the third time in his career. This is the first time that Nadal achieves three wins in the round robin stage. In the semifinal, he defeated Murray 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(6) in a hard-fought match, to reach his first final at the tournament. In only their second meeting of the year, Federer beat Nadal in the final by a score of 6–3, 3–6, 6–1. After the match, Nadal stated: "Roger is probably the more complete player of the world. I'm not going to say I lost that match because I was tired." This was a reference to his marathon victory over Murray on Saturday. "I tried my best this afternoon, but Roger was simply better than me."
Nadal ended the 2010 season having won three Slams and three Masters 1000 tournaments, and having regained the No. 1 ranking.
Next up for Nadal is a two-match exhibition against Federer for the Roger Federer Foundation. The first match will take place in Zurich on December 21, 2010, and the second in Madrid the next day.
Nadal begins 2011 in Abu Dhabi-
Nadal is set for some big paydays in the Gulf(credit: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas)
Live Tennis Staff - 28 Dec 2010
Rafael Nadal begins his 2011 season with the Mubadala World Tennis Championships exhibition in Abu Dhabi this week.
The next two weeks will be a profitable time for Nadal as he picks up some sizeable appearance fee cheques in the Middle East from the cash-rich events in Abu Dhabi and Doha.
Nadal won the Abu Dhabi title last year and with an all-star 2011 field also featuring Roger Federer, Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marcos Baghdatis, it is far more than just a hit-and-giggle. Many of these players will lock horns again over the coming weeks and with the Australian Open barely three weeks away, there is some serious match practise to be gained, not to mention confidence.
Nadal gets a bye straight through to the semi-finals where he will play either Tomas Berdych or Marcos Baghdatis. Berdych enjoyed a stunning 2010 season, making the Wimbledon final while Baghdatis returned to the top of the game after two years in the wilderness, beating both Nadal and Federer on tour as he ended the season back in the top 20.
“Last year I started to get back to my very best so I cannot wait to start my season in Abu Dhabi against a quality field in preparation for the Australian Open,” Baghdatis said. “Over the years I’ve had some great battles with Tomas and I’m expecting another very close match but hopefully the fans at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship will see me as the ‘local player’ and show me their support.”
A year that began with doubts over Rafael Nadal's body and continued with worries over Roger Federer's head ended with both men at the peak of their powers and promising some juicy new chapters of their rivalry in 2011.
The sight of the two greatest players of their generation jousting on opposite sides of the net at London's O2 Arena as the men's season came to a spectacular conclusion was a heart-warming one for fans the world over.
A paltry four meetings between the Spaniard and the Swiss in the past two years has left tennis followers feeling slightly short-changed but as the Australian Open looms both are eager to square off for the major prizes.
With Serbia's Novak Djokovic, fresh from leading his country to a first Davis Cup title against France, British shot-maker Andy Murray and Sweden's Robin Soderling posing genuine threats, the men's game heads into the new year in rude health.