Nicknamed "Rafa", Rafael Nadal has took the tennis world by storm over the past 5 years as he has made his way on the professional tennis circuit to number 2 in the world with a staggering clay-court winning streak of 60 consecutive matches.He was born June 3rd 1986 in Manacor, Mallorca to Sebastián and Ana María. He has great sporting heritage as his Uncle is former F.C. Barcelona footballer Miguel Ángel Nadal. Between 1986 and 2001 (the year in which he turned pro at only age 15) he developed a brilliant all round game playing left-handed despite being naturally right-handed.
His rise since then has been a quick and exhilarating one. In 2002, he won his first ATP match at Majorca at the age of 15, defeating Ramon Delgado to become the ninth player in the Open Era to win an ATP match before his 16th birthday. One year later in 2003 he became the second-youngest player to be ranked among the world's top 100 singles players and earned ATP Newcomer of the Year. At his Wimbledon debut, at only age 16, he became the youngest player to reach the 3rd round since 16-year-old Boris Becker in 1984 and in July 2003 he reached the Spanish championships where he lost to Lopez.