Rafael Nadal Bio

  • • Full name is Rafael Nadal Parera. Nickname is Rafa.
  • • Began playing tennis at age 4 with his uncle and longtime coach Toni.
  • • Swings left-handed but writes right-handed. Played with 2-handed forehand before his uncle Toni made him change at age 9.
  • • Father, Sebastian Nadal, is a businessman. Among his businesses are the family-owned Sa Punta restaurant and the Vidres Mallorca glass-and-windows company.
    > Wife, Maria Francisca Perello; son, Rafael; mother, Ana Maria Parera; sister, Maria Isabel.
  • • Uncle, Miguel Angel, played football for FC Barcelona, Real Mallorca and Spanish national team. Competed in 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cup.
  • • Comes from island of Mallorca like his coach, former World No. 1 Carlos Moya.
  • • Founded Rafa Nadal Foundation in 2008 and was presented with ATP ACES for Charity grant in 2011 and 2020. Mother, Ana Maria, serves as foundation president. Learn more at fundacionrafanadal.org.
  • • Launched Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in May 2016, which combines high-level tennis, education and residency. Learn more at rafanadalacademy.com.
  • • Opened academy to victims of flash floods seeking shelter in Mallorca from 9-10 October 2018, then donated €1 million to those affected.
  • • Partnered with Roger Federer to donate $250,000 towards Australian bushfire relief in January 2020.
  • • Faced Federer in front of largest crowd in tennis history in Cape Town, South Africa on 7 February 2020. Exhibition match attracted 51,954 fans and raised $3.5 million for Roger Federer Foundation.
  • • During COVID-19 pandemic, teamed with NBA star Pau Gasol to launch #NuestraMejorVictoria campaign (Our Best Victory), encouraging donations from Spanish sportsmen and sportswomen. Raised more than €14 million to help citizens in need.
  • • Launched Rafael Nadal Tennis School in India (2010), Rafa Nadal Tour in Spain (2014), Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre in Mexico (2019), Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre in Greece (2019), Rafa Nadal Tour in Australia (2019) and Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait (2020).
  • • Won ATP No. 1 Award 5 times (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019), Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award 5 times (2010 and 2018-21), Fans' Favourite Award in 2022, Comeback Player of Year in 2013, Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2011, Most Improved Player of Year in 2005 and Newcomer of Year in 2003.
  • • Named Sportsman of the Year (2011 and 2021), Comeback of the Year (2014) and Newcomer of the Year (2006) at Laureus World Sports Awards.
  • • Recipient of Prince of Asturias Award in 2008, ESPY's Best Male International Athlete Award in 2008, BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2010, L'Equipe Champion of Champions Award in 2010 and 2013, and Legend Award for 75th anniversary of Spanish sports daily Marca in November 2013.
  • • Honoured by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy with the "Medalla de Oro al Trabajo" in May 2015, one of the top civilian honours in Spain (Gold Medal for Merit in Work).
  • • Received honourary doctoral degree from European University of Madrid in 2015 and Gran Cruz de la Orden del Dos de Mayo in 2020, which is Madrid's highest honour.
  • • Flagbearer for Spain at 2016 Rio Olympics.
  • • Centre Court at Barcelona was renamed "Pista Rafa Nadal" in 2017.
    > Honoured by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo with "Grand Vermeil" medal in May 2015, the highest distinction from Paris. Molded his hands into clay at the Centre Pompidou in Paris following 11th Roland Garros title in 2018.
  • • Statue of his trademark forehand sculpted by Jordi Diez Fernandez was unveiled on site at Roland Garros prior to 2021 tournament.
  • • Suite named after him at Monte-Carlo Bay hotel includes shirts, racquets and shoes used in matches, as well as photos of his 11 titles at ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo.
  • • Member of ATP Player Council from 2010-12 and 2019-22.
  • • Wrote autobiography "Rafa" with John Carlin in 2011.
  • • Appeared in Shakira's music video for the song "Gypsy" in 2010.
  • • Missed 11 Grand Slams due to injury: Australian Open in 2006 (left foot) and 2013 (stomach virus); Roland Garros in 2003 (elbow) and 2004 (left ankle); Wimbledon in 2004 (left ankle), 2009 (knee), 2016 (left wrist) and 2021 (left foot); and US Open in 2012 (left knee), 2014 (right wrist) and 2021 (left foot).
  • • Underwent appendicitis surgery in November 2014 and right ankle surgery in November 2018.

Biographical information from ATP. Information might not be up to date.

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