Rafael Nadal is one of the top tennis players in the world and the winner of the last many French Opens as well as Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal was born on the island of Mallorca in Spain on June 3, 1986 and still lives there with his family. He started playing tennis when he was just three years old, after watching his Uncle Tony play the sport at a local tennis club. Rafael's uncle began teaching him how to play tennis and by the age of 11, Rafael was winning youth tennis tournaments all across Spain. Uncle Tony remains Raffa's coach today.
Teenage Tennis Titan
Rafael turned pro when he was 15 and by 2003, he was one of the top 50 ranked men tennis players in the world. With his unique left-handed playing style and long hair, Nadal became a fan favorite both in Spain and around the world. In 2005, Rafael continued to work his way up the world rankings and won the 2005 French Open with a four set victory over Mariano Puerta of Argentina. On the road to the French Open final, Rafael also upset Roger Federer, the world's number one ranked player. Nadal repeated as French Open champ in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and won his 65th straight match on clay court, making him the undisputed champion of clay-court tennis.
• Rafael Nadal is nicknamed "Rada" by his friends and family. • When he's not dominating on the tennis court, Rafael Nadal likes playing video games, fishing and playing soccer. • Rafael is naturally right-handed, except when it comes to playing tennis, which he does left-handed. His Uncle Tony, who is still his coach, taught him to play left-handed when he was 10. • Rafael's Uncle Miguel was a Spanish soccer star, who played for Spain in soccer's World Cup three times.