Rafael Nadal
Biography of the Unbreakable

Rafael Nadal photo
Rafael Nadal has won his second Roland Garros title one week ago (at the time of writing this article). He also holds the record of 60 consecutive wins on clay in the Open era.

Who is this remarkable young man and what can we learn from him?

His biography reveals to us that his career started as a typical successful tennis pro. He started to play at a very young age of four and tennis was already big in his family. His uncle Tony was his first and long time coach.

Another important fact is that Rafael Nadal's other uncle Miguel Angel Nadal is a former professional soccer player which probably influenced young Rafael's view on sports and competing - namely playing a sport professionally.

What can you learn?

Family and closest friends and coaches have a lot of influence on young players. Rafael was directed and guided towards professional sport from his early years. This enabled him to be focused on success and high performance.

Another interesting fact is that since Rafael Nadal is from Mallorca, he often practiced with Carlos Moya. Carlos was a role model for many young players since he won his only Grand Slam title French Open in 1998. He also became the first Spaniard in the Open era to hold Nr. 1 ranking in 1999.

So Rafael Nadal was greatly honored when Carlos Moya offered his help in guiding the young motivated competitor through the battles of ATP tour. Nadal undoubtedly learned a lot from Moya and these years of practicing with Carlos sure proved to be extremely influential on his game and his approach.

What can you learn?

Having a mentor who has gone through the tough times on the tour is a fantastic asset. There are many traps and mistakes that a young player can make and lose his focus. If you are guided by a champion you are much more likely to become one too.

His results at the early age of 15 (in 2001) already showed great potential and talent – Rafael won his first ATP match and went 37-3 in Futures (lower tier of ATP tour) winning six titles in all.

By the age of 17 he was already in the top 50 in the world and reached the third round in Wimbledon trailing only Boris Becker (aged 16) in that record.

In 2004 at the age of 18 Nadal won his first ATP title and won the Davis Cup title for his country.

But 2005 was his breakthrough year when he won his first French Open title and 4 Masters Series tournaments. He won all together 11 titles and finished the year at Nr. 2 behind Roger Federer.

He continued his fantastic run on clay in 2006 where he is still undefeated and is now holding a record of 60 consecutive wins on clay surpassing the previous record of Guillermo Vilas.

What can you learn?

Rafael Nadal is not afraid of big names in tennis. He entered the ATP arena at the very young age and could be easily intimidated by all the titles and successes of his opponents. But Nadal just sticks to his »never say die« attitude and fights to the end.

He plays the ball not the opponent.

Another fantastic achievement of young Rafa is that he holds an incredible record against an incredible player – Roger Federer. Nadal has won 6 of 7 matches they played including the finals on hard court this year in Dubai.

Not only that – Nadal won 4 of those matches in the finals of the tournament where Federer has a fantastic record of 37 wins and only 13 losses.

What can you learn?

Nadal is still ranked nr. 2 in the world but he is not even remotely convinced that that's how things should be. He never plays as nr. 2 against Roger, he always goes for the win and that's why he has this outstanding record.

Do not believe the numbers, that's only some computer program doing its job. Always play to win – regardless of who you play.

Rafael Nadal picture
Rafa plays a fighting, persevering and mentally tough tennis game. Although he admitted of having nerves in this year's Roland Garros final he pushes through that fear with courage and determination.

Rafael Nadal is prepared to work hard and long for his success (try and find a shirtless picture of him…). He is not looking for shortcuts and he is a true mental winner that we can all learn from.

I am convinced that this article will have to be updated frequently to show his progress and great achievements of young Rafa...

Check Rafael Nadal's profile on AskMen.com for more interesting details of his life...



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