Nicknamed as ‘Rafa’ and ‘the King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal Parera is the current world No. 2 in tennis. The left-handed player started playing tennis at the age of four. Nadal played his only junior Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2002 and proceeded to the semi-finals.
ATP Newcomer of the Year in 2003, ATP Most Improved Player of the Year in 2005, ATP Player of the Year in 2008 and 2010, and Nadal has been on his way since adding more to his pile of trophies.
In 2004, he became the youngest player to register a singles ‘victory in the Davis Cup finals for Spain. In 2008, he won the Prince of Asturias award that was named for Spain’s Crown Prince Felipa.
The Rafael Nadal Tennis School, Nadal opened in 2010 in Anantpur, India, for the improvement of childrens’ education and tennis training. This school also hosts district, state and national level tennis tournaments. For his contributions through the Rafael Nadal Foundation, he received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award in 2011.
This year looks quite promising just as the last few have been for Rafael Nadal. He opened season by reaching the Doha semi-finals. He reached his 15th major final at the Australian Open being the No. 2 seed. In the final match, he lost to current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Nadal won a record eighth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo title and captured his seventh Barcelona title this year. His win at the French Open this year against Djokovic gave him his record seventh French Open title. This win has raised his confidence as he looks forward to Wimbledon. Also, he still leads Djokovic 2-1 on grass courts – a good omen perhaps.
Wimbledon is Rafa’s second best slam tournament statistically owing to his two wins in 2008 and 2010, and he is certainly one of the favourites to make it to the finals this time. After regaining some valuable momentum at Roland Garros, Nadal will surely pose a huge challenge to the other contenders at Wimbledon this time round.