A New Tennis Legend in the Making?

July 25th, 2012 by Guest Contributor

filed in Tennis News, Tennis Lifestyle

Guest article by Jeana Olchowy

 

Many would say that Rafael Nadal is headed for super stardom.  Some would say he is already there.  But, the one thing every tennis fan can agree on is that Nadal is going to be a legend of the court.  His career has been short, only beginning in 2002 at the tender age of 15.  In April of that year he played his first career ATP match and won, defeating Ramon Delgado.  He was only the 9th player in what is considered the Open Era to do this before the age of 16.  By the end of his first professional year, Nadal had cracked the top 50.  He made his first appearance at Wimbledon in 2003 and made it to the 3rd round.  When Nadal was only 18 years old in 2004, he defeated Andy Roddick who was ranked #2 in the world.  That win clinched the Davis Cup for Spain.  Nadal ended 2004 ranked #51 in the world.  In 2005, Nadal played in the Australian Open tennis tournament and lost in the 4th round.  After that he completely dominated the clay a court, winning 24 singles matches in a row.  He was still a teenager. 

Nadal vs. Federer

In 2004 Nadal played his first match against the great Roger Federer at the Miami Masters and won.  Federer was ranked #1 in the world when Nadal beat him in straight sets.  In 2009 Nadal faced Federer in the final of the Australian Open and won in 5 sets.  It was the 19th time the two men faced each other and it was truly epic.  The Australian Open tennis Championship was Nadal’s 1st on a hard court.  When you jump ahead to his current career you can see that even though he had great success early on, he has only gotten better as the years have gone by.  Today, matches that feature Nadal vs. Federer are waited for with anticipation.  They never disappoint. 

Today, Rafael Nadal still powers through opponents.  He has won 1 Australian Open, 7 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, and 1 US Open titles as a singles player.  He won Gold at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.  His career singles record is an incredible 582-121 and holds 50 titles.  He has been ranked #1 in the world and is currently ranked #2.  He is a wonderful ambassador for the sport of Tennis.  Astronomers found a new asteroid belt and named it after him.  He has appeared in a Shakira music video.  He is a philanthropist and a pop culture icon.  It’s pretty safe to say that his road to Men’s Professional Tennis legend status is probably paved in gold. 

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If you would like more information on Rafael Nadal or tennis in general, Jeana Olchowy can be reached at @jolchowy25

 

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