Nadal, Rafael

Nadal, Rafael (Rafael Nadal Parera), 1986–, Spanish tennis player, b. Majorca. Widely regarded as the greatest clay-court player ever, “Rafa” turned professional at 15. In 2005 he won his first major, the French Open. He has since dominated the event, winning it a record 13 times (2005–8, 2010–14 2017–20); four times he defeated Roger Federer in the finals (2006–8, 2011). In 2008 he won Wimbledon, again defeating Federer in the final, and also won gold at the summer Olympic Games. Susequently, he has won the Australian Open (2009, facing Federer in the final), Wimbledon again (2010), and the U.S. Open four times (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019). The 2010 U.S. Open win made him the youngest player in the Open Era to win a career grand slam, and his 13th French win tied Federer's record for most Grand Slam singles titles (20). In 2016 Nadal won Olympic gold in the men's doubles (with Marc Lopez).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sports: Biographies