G.O.A.T, Roland-Garros, Carlos Moya: 10 questions about Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is considered one of the top three players in tennis history. Here are the answers to some questions you may have about the Spaniard

11 June 2021
Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Roland-Garros

Is Rafael Nadal the Greatest of all Time (G.O.A.T.)?

Rafael Nadal has won 20 Grand Slam titles and many consider him to be among the greatest players of all time. The Spaniard won his 20th Grand Slam title in 2020 when he captured the Roland-Garros crown for the 13th time. As of May 2021, Nadal is tied with Roger Federer for the all-time men’s singles Grand Slam titles record at 20 majors apiece (with Novak Djokovic coming in third place with 18 Grand Slams).

Why is Rafael Nadal called “King of Clay”?

Nadal is called “King of Clay” because he has won the French Open an all-time record 13 times. He has won 100 matches on the Parisian clay courts, only losing a grand total of two matches – against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 (prior to the start of the 2021 edition).

Between 2005 and 2007, the Spaniard won 81 matches in a row on clay, another all-time record.

Why did Rafael Nadal withdraw from Wimbledon?

The Spaniard elected to skip Wimbledon and the Olympics in 2021 in order to rest and recuperate his body after a difficult clay court season. Nadal announced the news on June 17, ten days before the commencement of main draw play at Wimbledon.

“The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season,” Nadal said on Twitter. “They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused looking at the mid and long term.”

It’s the fourth time – also 2004, 2009 and 2016 – that Nadal has missed Wimbledon since his first appearance in 2003.

When will Nadal retire from tennis?

It isn’t clear. Nadal turned 35 at Roland-Garros (on June 3) but has shown no desire to end his illustrious career. His recent decision to skip Wimbledon and the Olympics (in 2021) is more about his desire to rest and recuperate in order to find his top form, than a signal that his career is nearing the end.

When was Rafael Nadal born?

Rafael Nadal was born on June 3, 1986 in Manacor, on the island of Mallorca, Spain.

How tall is he?

Nadal is 6ft 1in (1.85m) tall, according to his profile on ATP official website. He weighs 187 lbs (85 kgs).

Why does Rafael Nadal play left-handed?

Nadal is right-handed for most things in life, but plays tennis left-handed. When he was a child, the Spaniard hit with both hands on both sides, but hit harder on the left side. Seeing this, his uncle and coach, Toni Nadal encouraged him to play his forehand on the left side.

Who is Rafael Nadal’s coach?

Nadal’s current coach is Carlos Moya, a former Spanish tennis player who won Roland Garros in 1998 and was world No 1 in 1999. Moya joined Nadal’s team in December 2016 as co-coach, before becoming head coach in January 2018, following Toni Nadal’s departure. Rafael’s uncle wanted to devote himself entirely to his nephew’s academy. Rafael Nadal had been coached by his uncle since his tennis debut.

Earlier this year, Toni Nadal has taken on the coaching role of Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal.

Who are his parents?

Nadal parents’ are Sebastian Nadal and Ana Maria Parera. Sebastian is a successful businessman in Manacor. He is the owner of Vidres Mallorca – an insurance, glass, and window company. Sebastian also owns a restaurant called Sa Punta.

Ana Maria was a trader who sold perfumes at the time of Rafael’s birth. She left her job and became a homemaker soon after the 20-time Grand Slam champion was born.

Who is Nadal’s wife?

15 years into their relationship, Nadal married Maria Francisca “Xisca” Perello on October 19, 2019. The 31-year-old Spaniard was born on July 7, 1988 in Mallorca. Since 2012, Xisca Perello has been project director at the Rafael Nadal Foundation, which is dedicated to the education of children and their consistent practice of sport.

Rafael Nadal and Maria Francisca Perello

Who is his agent?

Nadal’s agent is Carlos Costa, a former Spanish player, who was world No.10 in 1992.

When did Rafael Nadal start his career?

Rafael Nadal began his professional career in 2001 at age 15. That year, he got his first career win at an ATP Challenger tournament in Sevilla, against Israel Matos Gil, who was world No 751. The following year, in 2002, the Spaniard won his first ATP tour level match, defeating Ramos Delgado, ranked 81st in the world, in the Mallorca tournament first round and in the following round, he lost to Olivier Rochus.

Nadal won his first tournament in Sopot, Poland, in 2004.

You can follow Rafael Nadal on Twitter, on Instagram and on Facebook.

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