Rafael Nadal - 2012 French Open Champion
French Open Champion
For his record setting seventh French Open tennis title, the eleventh Grand Slam title of his career, Rafael Nadal has been selected as my HubPages June, 2012, Athlete of the Month. In a thrilling final that covered two days due to weather, Nadal defeated the current number one ranked player in the world, Novak Djokovic, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.
The victory for Nadal broke Bjorn Borg’s record of six French Open titles and prevented Djokovic from winning his fourth consecutive Grand Slam title. With the win Nadal ties Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver for fourth place on the list of all-time career Grand Slam titles with eleven. The only players with more are Roy Emerson (12), Pete Sampras (14), and Roger Federer (17).
Rafael Nadal is now 28 years old and was born in Manacor, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, and still resides there. He turned professional in 2001 and has 65 career singles titles. Over the span of his professional career Nadal has comprised a singles record of 731 wins against 149 losses for a winning percentage of 83%.
Nadal added to his tennis legacy in 2008 when he won the Gold Medal in tennis at the Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China. If he stays healthy it is very possible that Rafael can approach the all-time record for most Grand Slam titles held by Roger Federer (17). Whether he reaches this milestone or not Rafael Nadal will go down as one of the greatest players of all-time.
In addition to his exploits on the tennis court Rafael Nadal has become very active in giving back through his Rafa Nadal Foundation. Created in 2007 the foundation was started from the desire of Nadal and his family to help children and teenagers who are at risk of being discriminated against and excluded by society.
The mission of the foundation is to provide educational opportunities and programs in concert with sports as a tool for social acceptance and integration. It is Nadal’s belief that these two elements, education and sports, were the keys to his success and should be the backbone for the personal growth of the foundations benefactors.
Nadal Receives Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award
Realizing that his tennis career won’t last forever Rafael Nadal is looking to expand the footprint of his foundation around the world when his playing days are over. With limited time available while he is on tour Nadal has made his foundation a family affair with his mother and other family members joining in to help run and manage the foundation while Rafael competes around the world.
For a young athlete such as Nadal to have the foresight and vision to create a foundation while in his youth shows a level of maturity beyond his years. Realizing that he has been blessed with opportunities in his life and wanting to give back to those who are underprivileged says a lot about the values that were instilled in Nadal at a young age by his parents.
Interesting facts about Rafael Nadal
- His nickname is Rafa and his full name is Rafael Nadal Parera.
- Rafael Nadal began playing tennis at the age of four.
- His uncle Toni is his coach.
- Rafael Nadal is the first left handed player to be ranked number one since John McEnroe in 1984.
- He is the first Spanish player to hold the number one ranking in mens tennis.
- Rafael Nadal is considered to be the best clay court player ever and has been deemed the "King of Clay" by the media.
- Rafael's favorite foods are pasta and seafood.
- While Rafael plays tennis left-handed he does everything else including writing right handed.
- Rafael turned professional at the age of 14.
- Rafael attained the number one ranking in the world on August 18, 2008 after being ranked number two behind Roger Federer for a record 160 weeks.
- Rafael Nadal is known for being as humble in success as he is in defeat, the true sign of a champion.
So, to Rafael Nadal we say congratulations on being selected as the HubPages Athlete of the Month for June, 2012, and for your record setting 2012 French Open title.
© 2012 Bill De Giulio
More by this Author
Novak Djokovic is on top of the tennis world. Fresh off of his third consecutive Australian Open Tennis title, Djokovic is currently the top ranked player in the world.
Many great female tennis players have graced the courts over the years. Ever wonder who the best of the best is? Here is my list of the top 10 female tennis players of all-time.
A lot of great tennis players have come and gone over the years. Ever wonder who is considered the greatest of all time? Here is my list of the top ten greatest men's tennis players of all time.