You might have seen plenty of Tennis players at the world stage but there is none like the Spaniard superstar - King Rafa!
Nadal just won a record-breaking 10th French Open title in Paris as he also turned 31 a few days ago. Today, in a comfortable victory, Rafa demolished Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 6-1 losing out just six games in total. A match that marked the Spaniard's 104th clay court match, he'll surely like to describe it as the 'best match in a while' that he has played.
In the on-court interview, Nadal expressed after defeating Basilashvili in the round of 32 a few weeks ago, "Tomorrow is a special day because it's my birthday. The good news is that I'm going to have my birthday here in Roland Garros. Tomorrow at 8.45pm I will be supporting my team in the Champions League Final and I hope Real Madrid will win another time."
Rafael spent his last day being 30 in a way not many are able to with a win and earned positivity at the end of the day/start of his birthday. When asked, what would he like to have for his birthday on Saturday June 3rd, he explained:
"I don't really need gifts, I think the only thing that I can really dream of in this life is good health. Good health for myself, for my family, for my friends. It's the only thing you don't have control over."
Any celebrations? "Of course. This is Roland Garros. I will try perhaps to go out for dinner with my family. But it's an important week for me here, and I think I do need to remain focused above all."
The living legend's focused approach only shows how much he was anticipating that elusive 10th French Open title to set a new benchmark for Tennis.
Here's a quick look at Rafael Nadal's Greatest Life Events:
Look at the kind of celebration that he made, such an emotional and memorable moment.
- 15 Grand Slams and 70 Career Titles
- Widely Regarded As The Greatest Clay-Court Player In History
- 2008 Olympic Gold Medal (Singles)
- All-Time Record Of 30 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Titles (Tied - Novak Djokovic)
- 8 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments
- 2011 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
- Davis Cups with Spain in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011
- Record Ten Grand Slam Titles in one major (French Open)
- Has won all ten of his French Open finals
- Has 50 clay titles overall
- Has a 97% winning percentage at Roland Garros
That is why he is referred to as the 'King of Clay'
- Has earned $80.1M (£64M) during his career so far from tournaments.
- Less than rivals Federer and Novak Djokovic, who have garnered $101M and $108M respectively.
- Sponsorship deals and advertisements boost the now 31-year-old's net worth to around $125M.
- Vs. Federer: Played 37 times; Nadal leads their head-to-head series 23–14 overall and 9–3 in Grand Slams. Only pair of men to have ever finished four consecutive calendar years at the top.
- Vs. Djokovic: Played 50 times (more than any other pair in the Open Era); Nadal currently trails at 24–26. Listed as the third greatest of the previous 10 years by ATPworldtour.com.
- Vs. Murray: Played 24 times; Nadal is leading 17–7. Once met regularly at Grand Slam level with nine out of their 23 meetings coming in Grand Slams out of which Nadal has won 7 times.
- Nadal is dating 28-year-old Xisca Perello (full name - Francisca Perello) since 2005. She currently works as a project director for Nadal's foundation and studied business administration in London.
- Perello keeps a low profile and has no interest in being famous despite dating one of the most famous athletes in the world.
NADAL IS BIG ON FOOTBALL
- Huge Fan of Real Madrid
- Held 10% shares of football club RCD Mallorca (his local club by birth) with his uncle that he sold off to German businessman Utz Claassen in 2011.
- Created a foundation in November 2007 called 'Fundación Rafa Nadal' that focuses on social development aid to the childhood and the youth.
- Walks on court with a single racket in hand
- Tosses the ball number of times before serving
- Keeps picking wedges from his shorts while playing
- Takes off jacket while jumping
- Crosses lines with his right foot only
- Eats his energy gel in the same manner
- Runs to the baseline for warm ups
- Goes to the towel after every point
- Scans the crowd to find his corner
- Constantly touches his hair and shirt
The iconic tennis star has become just the 12th player aged 31 and over to feature in the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, since its inception on 23 August 1973.
Most importantly, for now, the World No. 4 has won the Roland Garros for the 10th time in 13 years. We can't hold our breath to see his ranking back at #1.
Dear time, please make it happen fast. -sighs-