Rafael Nadal: Five lesser known facts about the legend
12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal is one of the GOATs of tennis. The 18-time Grand Slam winner has scripted several records in his illustrious career. And the Spaniard has been an inspiration both on and off the field. He was recently seen at Wimbledon 2019, where he lost to Roger Federer. Here we look at five lesser known facts about Rafa.
Did you know about these two mammoth Nadal feats?
Nadal won his first Grand Slam in 2005 and up till 2014, he managed to win at least one Slam per year. Nadal is the only one to achieve this. His best year came in 2010, when he sealed three successive Slam wins. Even Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have won three Slams in a year, but they didn't win it consecutively.
Nadal only tennis player to win two Olympics gold medals
Nadal is the only player in tennis history to seal an Olympics gold medal in both singles and doubles events. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Rafa pocketed the gold in singles event by beating Chilean Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. And then at Rio Olympics 2016, he partnered with Marc Lopez to win the doubles gold.
Rafa became the oldest to finish year as number one
In 2017, Rafa notched a stunning feat. At 31 years, he became the oldest person to finish as year-end number one. That also saw him being the first player above 30 years of age to end the year as world number one. First time he ended the year as number one was in 2008. The nine-year gap between 2008-2017 is a record too.
Nadal youngest to win all four Slams
Nadal pocketed the French Open title at a tender age of 19. He won the Wimbledon in 2008, the Australian Open in 2009 and the US Open in 2010. This saw Rafa make history as he became the youngest man to have completed a 'Career Slam'. Nadal was 24 years, 3 months and 10 days old, when he won the US Open.
Nadal's ruthless form in 2010
Nadal is the undisputed king of clay. Notably, he is the only person history to have completed 'The Clay Slam'. In 2010, Rafa was in monstrous form. He won the French Open, ATP Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid (all clay). In 2010, he also won the Summer Slam. He won the Canadian Open, Cincinnati Masters and US Open.