RAFAEL NADAL – THE TENNIS GOAT

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Rafael Nadal - The Tennis Goat

Rafael Nadal is one of the best things that happened to the game of tennis. Full name Rafael Nadal Parera was born in 1986 in Spain. The Spanish star is famous for his astounding play and dominating achievements. He has won 13 career French open titles and 21 grand slam titles, which was a record for any tennis player.

EARLY CAREER

Rafael Nadal started his professional career in 2001. In his first grand slam title as a junior competitor, he made it into the semis of Wimbledon 2002. In 2004, Nadal defeated the then world number 2, Andy Roddick. This win made him the youngest player to win the singles match for the victorious country. In 2005, the teenage Rafael Nadal set a record of 11 tournament victories. He won two consecutive French open titles in 2005 and 2006. Nadal became a valuable player on the Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) tour and developed a rivalry with Roger Federer.

DOMINATION PERIOD

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer had neck-to-neck competitions for titles in the next few years. In Germany’s 2007 ATP Master Series final, Federer broke Nadal’s streak of 81 wins on clay. The Spanish star soon took the revenge in the French Open final of 2008, where Nadal registered his fourth consecutive tournament win. The 2008 Wimbledon Final between Federer and Nadal lasted for 4 hours 48 minutes, with the latter being victorious. 

The fifth French Open title for Nadal came in 2010. He won his second Wimbledon the same year, then his first U.S. Open. In 2013, he became the first man to win eight French Open titles, winning them in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The ninth title came in 2014 for the unstoppable Spanish hero in France. 

INJURIES AND REDEMPTION

After 2014, injuries got better for Nadal, and he lost consistency. He failed to win any Grand Slam title for the next two years. However, he redeemed himself with gold at Rio Olympics and the tenth French Open title in June 2017. Nadal has won several singles and U.S. open titles in the following years. The latest achievement for the tennis G.O.A.T. came in the 2022 Australian Open, where he came back from a two-set deficit and claimed his 21st Grand Slam title. 

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