Rafael Nadal – Mastering the Surfaces

Player Profiles
By Hiland Doolittle, January 8th, 2011
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

After winning four consecutive French Open Championships, tour opponents may have wished the fiercely competitive Spaniard would stay on his favorite surface.  Those who know the feisty former number one player know that compromise is not his style.  Nadal saw an opening and raised his game to take advantage of his extraordinary speed and shot-making skills in pursuing excellence on all surfaces.

Despite his all court progress, the popular Rafa had a disappointing 2009 Grand Slam season.  While clawing his way to his first hard court major of the year in Melbourne where the left-hander toppled Roger Federer yet again in a five-set final, injuries to his knees hobbled the star and contributed to a surprising 4th round exit in Paris and a non-appearance at Wimbledon before rebounding with a semi-final loss to eventual U.S. Open Champion Juan Martin Del Potro in New York.

also possesses the 2008 Wimbledon Grass Championship to round out his resume.

Country Spain
Birth Date03-06-86
Residence Monaco, Spain
Height Monaco, Spain
Weight 188 lbs
Year Turned Pro 2001
Current Rank – Singles 2
Current Rank – Doubles
Career Prize Earnings $26,104,163
Year-To- Date – Earnings $5,346,515
Grand Slam (Singles) 6
Australian Open 1
French Open 4
Wimbledon 1
U.S. Open 0

By August, Nadal had rested the tendonitis in both his knees and resumed competitive competition. If Rafa has a weakness, it is the toll his ball-hawking abilities take on his battered limbs. This year he suffered and no player is looking forward to a healing off-season more than Rafa.

Many fans do not realize that Rafael Nadal is an accomplished doubles player. Rafa has earned five Grand Slam doubles championships. With a career match record of 399 – 88 and 36 career championships and more than $26 million in earnings, Rafa would like nothing more than to unseat Roger Federer and regain his number one world ranking.

Rafa 2009 Season

Although saddled by injuries, Rafa made the most of the season.  His 2009 match record was a sterling 64-11 as he earned more than $5.3 million.  In holding the number two ranking, Rafa won five titles in 2009, including the ATP World Tour Masters Rome, The Barcelona, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells and the Australian Open.  Not bad for a player in pain.

Long known as a feisty, game competitor, Rafa may be the player other competitors like least to play.  He simply does not quit and never disappears.  Every retrieved ball presents an opportunity to strike a winner.  When in form, Nadal’s shotmaking skills are unequalled.

The 23 year old Nadal is just one of three players to have battled his way to more than 60 wins in 2009.  Unfortunately, he was fighting an abdominal strain at the end of the season.  Assuming he rehabilitates well in the brief off-season, Rafa has the tools to give Federer a run for the money in 2010.  Beware of the testy Spaniard.  He gives no quarter.


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