Rafael Nadal was born in June 3, 1986 in Manacor, Spain. He is widely regarded as the greatest clay court tennis players of all time. He holds many records such as being a 14 times grand slam winner, 27 titles of ATP world tour masters and a 2008 gold medal Olympics in singles. In 2010 he became the 7th man to win the career golden slam and the youngest out of 4 others. In 2014, Nadal won the French open for a record 9th time which made him the first to ever win at a slam 9 times and it also made him the first to win a slam for at least 10 consecutive years.
As a child, Nadal was heavily involved in both soccer and tennis. At the age of 8 he won a under 12 regional tennis championship and was told by his Uncle to start using his left hand for an edge on playing tennis. His uncle was his coach and helped him develop into the world class player he is today. At a young age he was then given the choice for either tennis or soccer so his schoolwork would not deteriorate. From there Nadal was requested by the Spanish tennis federation to move to America to further his training into an elite player. His parents believed against it and his uncle told him “I don’t want to believe that you have to go to America, or other places to be a good athlete. You can do it from your home”. Remaining at home received in him getting less financial support and left his father to cover the costs. At the age of 15 Nadal turned professional which is very early for most players. In his first year of playing he scored multiple wins over many popular players such as Fernando Gonzalez and Andy Roddick. He finished the year at rank 51 and was considered somebody to watch in the coming years. His breakthrough year came in 2005 where he won 24 consecutive singles matches and raised him ranking to number 5 and made him a heavy contender for the French open title. At the age of 19 he won the French open at his first showing in the tournament, a feat that had never happened for more than 20 years.
Following into the next decade many sport commentators regarded him as a clay court only threat type of player. Many suggested Nadal could only dominate on clay and was not a force outside of the surface. He proved many wrong when he won Wimbledon, a grass surface slam, beating Roger Federer in the finals of 2008. Many commentators regard it as one of the best tennis matches of all time and his victory over Federer who many consider one of the best players of the sport to ever exist. The victory ascended him to rank number one in the world and cemented his place in history as not just a clay court player. It labeled him as one of the all time greats of playing the sport.