- Known by many as “ Rafa”, Rafael Nadal is one of the top-ranked tennis players in the world today.
- He has a combined record of 120-43, and doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses and is compared to tennis legends like Andre Agassi and Bjorn Borg.
- Hischildhood, and his achievements this far has made him who he is today, and as stated on Forbes. com, “ Nadal is the number 16 highest paid athlete with endorsements worth 25 million dollars. ” Transition: Let’s start with his roots. Body: Main point 1 –
Nadal was born in Majorca, Spain on June 3rd, 1986. He began playing tennis andsoccerat the age of 3, being coached both by his Uncle Toni. According to The New York Times, “ there was a lot more soccer than tennis in Nadal’s childhood. “ His Uncle Toni was a top soccer player for Spain’s F. C Barcelona, and with his experience he trained Rafa to be a great soccer player as well as tennis star. At the age of 11 he decided to quit soccer and totally focus on tennis. He is naturally right handed, but his Uncle Toni forced him to play with his left hand because you can generate more spin that way.
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By playing left handed it gives Nadal a supreme advantage during his serve. When people serve right handed the ball bounces away from the player, and when people serve left handed the ball spins right into the opponents’ midsection. With majority of the tennis stars being right handed, it makes things very difficult for an opponent of Nadals’ while returning serves. At the age of 15, Rafael was one of the highest ranked juniors in the world, and he jumped into the pro’s becoming one of the youngest players ever to win an ATP tour match. He achieved this when beating Ramon Delgado in Majorca 2002.
This made him one 1 out of only 9 players to ever win an ATP match before the age of 16. Transition: All of his accomplishments at an early age is a precursor for what’s to come. Main point 2 – Nadal has won many tournaments and many awards throughout hiscareer. In 2003 at the age of 16 he was the youngest player ever to be ranked in the ATP’s top 100. In the same year he won the ATP Newcomer of the Year award. He was also the youngest player ever to make it to a third round in a Grand Slam at Wimbledon at the age of 16. In 2005, at the age of 19 Nadal had one of the best accomplishments of his career at that point. Atptour. om states, “ Nadal was the first teenager to win a Grand Slam since Pete Sampras in 1990. ” He won the French Open that year and had a combined 25 match-winning streak at the end of the year. Tom Oldfield stated in his book Rafael Nadal: The Biography, “ Nadal had been known as a clay court specialist since playing in his first tournaments in 2001. ” So it wasn’t a surprise that he would win the French Open. Nadal has won 71 total singles titles, and 11 doubles titles totaling in 82 career tournament wins. Sports Illustrated has Nadal down for winning 11 grand slams to this day, which ties him for 4th on the all time list.
He is behind all-time greats like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer. He is tied with another German great Bjorn Borg He has won 7 French Opens, 1 U. S. open, 1 Australian Open, and 2 Wimbledon Opens. He also won the Olympic gold in 2008 making him one of the most well rounded players in the game. He is only 23 years old at this point, and has done much more than other tennis players do in their whole career. No one may come close to matching the number of Grand Slams he could end up winning. Transition: All of these achievements could lead to nothing more than some serious cash flow. Main point 3
Rafa is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. According to celebnetworth. org Rafa has sponsorships with, “ Kia motors, Babolat, Nike, Bacardi, Richard Mille, and Armani. ” His Nike endorsement is worth 21 million per year. With all of these endorsements and his career earnings, Nadal is at a net worth of around 60 million dollars per year making him the 16th ranked highest paid athletes. This puts him on the list of names along with Michael Phelps, Lebron James, Alex Rodriguez, and other highly paid athletes. In 2012 he has already gained 26 million in endorsements and 34 million in annual earnings. Transition:
This takes us to our conclusion.
We’ve been over Rafael’s childhood, his achievements, and his earnings. By doing this we see how much he means to the game of tennis. He was one of the youngest players ever to win a Grand Slam, and is endorsed by names like Nike, Babolat, and Armani, which only endorse the best athletes.
He is currently the 16th highest paid athlete and the future looks bright for Nadal. At a current age of only 23, Nadal has a chance to become one of the greatest of all times, and at the pace he’s going he has a great opportunity to beat Federer’s record holding 17 Grand Slams.