Rafael Nadal Parera (born June 3, 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player. He has been ranked #2 on the ATP Tour for a record 158 weeks and will become #1 on August 18, 2008.
Nadal has won five Grand Slam singles titles. He won four consecutive French Open titles from 2005-2008 and Wimbledon in 2008. He is the only male player other than Björn Borg to have won four consecutive French Open titles in the Open Era and one of only three in the Open Era who won both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same calendar year. He is also only the second male Spaniard to have won the Wimbledon title.
Nadal is already regarded by some tennis critics and former players as the greatest clay-court player in the history of the sport. He won a record 81 consecutive matches on clay from April 2005 to May 2007. This is the longest winning streak of any male player on a single surface in the Open Era. He also has a 22-1 record in the finals of clay-court tournaments and is undefeated in over 40 best-of-five-set matches on clay.
Nadal has a storied rivalry with Roger Federer and leads 12-6 in career meetings. They have played in 6 Grand Slam finals, an Open Era record, with Nadal winning 4 of these matches.
Rafael Nadal found out about his new status as soon as his plane touched down in Beijing a couple of days ago. He was surrounded by many other sporting superstars, but it was tennis’ man of the moment who was mobbed.
Fans, photographers and camera crews ignored Michael Phelps’ simultaneous arrival at Beijing’s international airport, not noticing the American who is expected to finish the swimming competition as the greatest Olympian in terms of gold medals until he was already in the minibus arranged to whisk him away.
When asked about his goal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the tennis hunk replied, “I’m here to represent my country as best as I can and my objective is to win a medal for Spain,” he said.