2014 IN REVIEW
Rafael Nadal, the two-time Mubadala World Tennis Champion (2009 and 2011) and current world number two, will make his sixth tournament appearance in Abu Dhabi this year. The Spanish star is excited to be back in Abu Dhabi and is the only player to have signed up to play every Mubadala World Tennis Championship since the tournament started.
The Spaniard started the season by winning his 61st title at Doha, beating Monfils in three sets making him No. 8 in Open Era title-leaders list, overtaking Andre Agassi (60). However, on 26 January, Rafa failed in his bid to capture a second Australian Open title in a four-set loss to Wawrinka, who broke a 12-match losing streak against him and saw the Spaniard’s 11-match winning streak come to an end.
On 8 June Nadal captured a staggering ninth Roland Garros title with a four-set final win over No. 2/2012 runner-up Novak Djokovic. This made him the first player in tennis history to win at least one Grand Slam title for 10 straight years.
After a surprise first round defeat at this year’s Wimbledon, on July 14th Rafa took an early place in the ATP World Tour Finals.
Rafael Nadal Parera, or “Rafa” as he is called by friends and family, began playing tennis at the age of four with his uncle Toni, who is his longtime coach. He plays tennis left-handed, but is naturally right-handed. Nadal played his only junior Grand Slam event at Wimbledon in 2005, where he reached the semi-finals.
Nadal’s father, Sebastian, is a business partner with two of his brothers of a restaurant, Sa Punta. His athletic skills run in the family as one of his uncles, Miguel Angel Nadal, is a former professional soccer player with stints at FC Barcelona, Real Mallorca and the Spanish national team, which competed in the 2002 World Cup.
Rafa was named ATP Newcomer of the Year in 2003, ATP Most Improved Player of the Year in 2005 and ATP Player of the Year in 2008 and 2010. In October 2010, Nadal opened the Rafael Nadal Tennis School in Anantpur, India, which hosts district, state and national-level tournaments. The school puts equal emphasis on children’s education and tennis training. In 2011 Rafa received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award for his contributions through the Rafa Nadal Foundation.