G.O.A.T, Roland-Garros, 22 majors, father: Everything you always wanted to know about Rafael Nadal (but never had time to find out) – updated with return in Barcelona

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

Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Roland-Garros Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Roland-Garros

Who is Rafael Nadal?

Rafael Nadal is one of the most successful tennis players of all time. He has won 22 Grand Slam titles, including a record 14 French Open crowns. He is nicknamed the King of Clay for his exploits on the surface.

WHat did rAFAEL NADAL do in barcelona in 2024?

After three months out because of injury, Rafael Nadal returned to the ATP Tour at the 2024 Barcelona Open, having battled abdominal problems since he returned from Australia in January, where he played in the Brisbane International but then pulled out of the Australian Open. He missed almost all of 2023 because of a hip injury that required surgery.

Nadal played down expectations of a deep run in Barcelona but showed he was still competitive by beating Flavio Cobolli of Italy in the first round.

He performed well in his second-round match against Alex de Minaur but the world No 11 was too consistent and too good as he claimed a 7-5, 6-1 victory.


No. Nadal had hoped to begin his clay-court season in Monte-Carlo, where he is an 11-time champion. But the Spaniard announced on the eve of the event that he is still not ready to compete. At the start of 2024, Nadal suffered a hip problem after his return from a year out with a serious hip psoas issue. The two injuries are not the same.


Yes. After almost a year out due to a left psoas injury (hip), Nadal returned to action at the Brisbane International in January 2024. The 37-year-old won two matches and reached the quarter-finals before losing to Jordan Thompson.

Nadal pulled out of the Australian Open and Doha to protect the injury. Nadal played Carlos Alcaraz in the “Netflix Slam” on March 3, an exhibition played inside the Mandalay Bay hotel but withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, saying he was not ready to compete at the top level. He was hoping to be fit in time for the clay-court season and had entered the Monte-Carlo Masters using his protected ranking. But on April 4, he said his body “would not allow him to play” yet and he pulled out of Monte-Carlo.


That was the plan. However, Nadal needed medical treatment for an issue close to the psoas during his match with Jordan Thompson in Brisbane. It was not related to the psoas problem which kept him off court for a year, but was serious enough for Nadal to reluctantly choose to skip the opening major of the year.

Is Rafael Nadal going to retire in 2024?

Maybe. But maybe not. Everything depends on how well he recovers from the psoas operation. “If I had to bet, I’d say it will be my last year,” said Nadal in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS in September 2023. But the Spaniard also said he does not want to put any limits on how long he will play, if he is able to return at the top level.

Nadal posted on his own social media and indicated that it is most likely to be his last year on tour, but again hinted that if he finds himself in good physical condition, he may continue.

“I think it is going to be like that, but I can’t be 100% sure because in the end I have worked a lot to come back to compete and if suddenly things and my physique allows me to continue and enjoy what I do – why am I going to set a deadline? I think it makes no sense,” he said.

Did Rafael Nadal play at Roland-Garros in 2023?

No. On May 18, Nadal announced that the hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open has not recovered in time for him to play at Roland-Garros, where he has won the title 14 times. Nadal said he wanted to stop playing for a number of months in order to ensure he can return at the top level.

Will Nadal play doubles with Carlos Alcaraz at the 2024 Olympics?

Possibly. If he is fit, Nadal said he would like to play one more Olympics and though he has not spoken to Alcaraz about playing doubles yet, it is a possibility. “I would also like (it) and it would be a good motivation, another incentive for me to be able to close my Olympic cycle playing with Carlos, with everything he is achieving, with the young people and with the great future he has ahead of him,” Nadal told AS newapaper in September, 2023.

What happened to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in 2023?

Nadal was beaten in the second round of the Australian Open in 2023, the defending champion losing to Mackenzie McDonald. Nadal suffered a hip injury during the match, which kept him out of action for a year.

Why was Nadal crying at the Laver Cup in 2022?

Nadal played doubles with Roger Federer in the Swiss legend’s final professional match on Friday September 23rd in London. The pair lost to Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, then took part in an extraordinary, emotional retirement ceremony for Federer.

Both players were filmed and photographed sitting side-by-side with prodigious tears flowing.

Afterwards, Nadal explained his feeling about Federer like this:

“When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving too because all the moments that he have been next or in front me in important moments of my life. So have been emotional see the family, see all the people.

“Yeah, difficult to describe. But, yeah, amazing moment.”

What did Nadal do at the 2022 US Open?

After playing just one warm-up event, Nadal played the US Open and reached the fourth round, before losing to Frances Tiafoe. Afterwards, Nadal said he needed a rest but would be back only when he was mentally ready.

Did Nadal play Wimbledon in 2022?

Nadal did play Wimbledon in 2022, despite not being in top physical condition. After winning his 14th French Open title, the Spaniard admitted he had taken injections to numb his foot during the two weeks in Paris, along with anti-inflammatories and injections. But he added that he cannot continue adopting the same treatment over a longer period of time. Nadal underwent treatment on his foot in Barcelona just two days after winning in Paris.

He reached the semi-finals in SW19 but withdrew ahead of his scheduled match against Nick Kyrgios due to a torn abdominal muscle.

How did Nadal win the 2022 Australian Open?

The Spaniard defeated Daniil Medvedev to become the first man in history to win an Australian Open final from two sets down in the Open Era. The last time it happened in Melbourne was 1965, when Roy Emerson defeated Fred Stolle. With that victory Nadal became the first male player to win 21 Grand Slam titles, and for the first time he surpassed both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to lead the race for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles, all-time.

Why is Rafael Nadal called the “King of Clay”?

Nadal is called the “King of Clay” because he has won the French Open a record 14 times. He has won more than 100 matches on the Parisian clay courts, only losing a grand total of three matches – against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 and in the semi-finals in 2021.

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

Rafael Nadal at Roland-Garros in 2021
Rafael Nadal at Roland-Garros in 2021

Why did Rafael Nadal withdraw from Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open in 2021?

The Spaniard elected to skip Wimbledon and the Olympics in 2021 in order to rest and recuperate his left foot after a difficult clay court season. Nadal announced the news on June 17, 10 days before the commencement of main draw play at Wimbledon.

“The fact that there has only been two 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.

On August 20, Nadal announced that his left foot injury needed more rest. He pulled out of the US Open and did not play any more events in 2021. In October 2021 Nadal gave an update, saying he would take his time to come back in shape.

“Not everything depends on me, but I am confident that my daily efforts will pay off and allow me to return soon,” he said.

How many titles has Rafael Nadal won?

Rafael Nadal has won 92 titles in his career, including four in 2022. His first came in Sopot in 2004 and his most recent win came at Roland-Garros in 2022.

When was Rafael Nadal born?

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

On 2022, Toni Nadal took on a coaching role with Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal.

Who are Rafael Nadal’s 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 22-time Grand Slam champion was born. Nadal’s uncle, Miguel Angel Nadal, played international football for Spain and was nicknamed “The Beast” for his physicality.

Who is Nadal’s wife?

Fifteen years into their relationship, Nadal married Maria Francisca “Xisca” Perello on October 19, 2019. The 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

Does Nadal have any kids?

Rafael Nadal and his wife Maria Francisca Perello welcomed their first born – a son named Rafael – on October 8, 2022.

How much prize money has Rafael Nadal won in his career?

Rafael Nadal has won $134.6 million in prize money in his career, as of April 4, 2024.

Who is Rafael Nadal’s 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.

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

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