The story of Rafael Nadal
By: Sal Medina TRST All sports blogger
Spaniard Rafael Nadal is known to everyone in the tennis world as Rafa. He has been ranked as one of the top 5 players in the world of tennis since 2003 and is only the 2nd male player to achieved a career golden slam .
He was born in Majorca, Spain on June 3 ,1986. His uncle Toni Nadal was a former professional tennis player himself and helped Rafa throughout his tennis career. At the age of 8 he won an under-12 regional tennis championship. When Rafa was 12 years old , he won the Spanish European tennis titles in his age group .
His uncle, who was his mentor and coach, encouraged him to turn pro and he started playing on the junior circuit at the young age of 15. At the age of 16, he played his first International Tennis Federation junior event, in which he made it all the way to the semifinals .
At the age of 17, he became the youngest player to reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon since a German named Boris Becker. At the age of 19 he played his first French Open and surprised everybody by going all the way in route to winning the title. It made him the No. 3 ranked player in the world. He didn’t stop there as he continued on his dominance and won ten more titles that year, 8 being on clay, and gave him the title “King of Clay.”
He went on to win the next three French Opens. In 2008 after winning again at Roland Garros, he won the Wimbledon beating his rival Roger Federer – it was the longest final in Wimbledon history .
Since 2008 he has been one of the superstars in the world of tennis and, despite his injuries, won 15 titles and became the No. 1 tennis player in the world .
By the end of 2011, he had won 46 singles titles and 7 doubles titles . He is the only the 2nd male player to complete the golden slam by winning the French, Australian, US Open, Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal. He also carried Spain to four Davis cup victories . And about 24 hours ago he won his 7th title at the French . He has done it all in tennis, and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down. He’ll continue to do it over and over.