Rafael Nadal through the years

Sep 11, 2013, 01:59 IST | A Correspondent

After Spaniard's US Open win, MiD DAY highlights the key moments of his career

> Born on June 3 in Mallorca, Spain.

> Turns professional.

> Wins first match on the ATP circuit in Mallorca, becoming the ninth player in the Open era to win an ATP match before his 16th birthday.

> Wins first ATP title, in Sopot, Poland.

> December: Beats Andy Roddick in four sets to help Spain beat the United States in Davis Cup final.

> June: Becomes first man since Mats Wilander in 1982 to win the French Open title on debut with a four-set win over Argentinian Mariano Puerta.

Rafael Nadal

> March: Beats World No 1 Roger Federer to win the ATP event in Dubai, ending Federer’s run of 56 consecutive hard-court wins.

> June: Beats Swede Robin Soderling in first round at French Open for his 54th consecutive claycourt win, setting a professional era record in the men’s game. Defends title with victory over Federer, his 59th straight win on clay.

> July: Loses Wimbledon final in four sets to Federer.

> May 7: Wins 76th straight match on clay to set a new record for consecutive victories on any single surface.

> May 20: Winning streak on clay ends at 81 matches with defeat in the final of the Hamburg Masters to Federer.

> June 10: Wins third straight French Open, beating Federer in the final for the second successive year.

> July 8: Loses Wimbledon final to Federer after five-set epic.

> January 24: Reaches Australian Open semi-finals for first time but is beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

> June 8: Thrashes Federer 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 to win his fourth successive French Open title, equalling the feat of Bjorn Borg. Becomes only the fifth player to win a Grand Slam without dropping a set.

Rafael Nadal

> July 6: Claims his first Wimbledon title with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7,) 6-7 (8/10), 9-7 victory over top seed Federer, becoming the first man since Borg in 1980 to hold the Wimbledon and French Open titles simultaneously.

Rafael Nadal

> August 17: Wins Olympic gold in Beijing with straight-sets defeat of Fernando Gonzalez.

> September 9: Loses in the semi-finals of the US Open to Andy Murray.


Rafael Nadal

> February 1: Wins first Australian Open title after epic five-set victory over Federer in Melbourne.

> May 31: Loses his first match at the French Open, beaten by Soderling in the fourth round.

> September 13: Thrashed 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 by Juan Martin Del Potro in US Open semi-final.

> December 4-6: Helps Spain win Davis Cup, beating Czech Republic 5-0.

> June 6: Regains the French Open title, beating Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

> July 4: Follows up a semi-final win over Murray by beating Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final.

> September 14: Becomes only the seventh man to complete the career Grand Slam with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Novak Djokovic in the final of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

> June 5: Successfully defends his French Open title, beating Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 6-1 to equal the six Roland Garros trophies won by Borg.

> July 3: Loses his Wimbledon title 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 to Djokovic, who also takes the World No 1 ranking.

> September 12: The same story for Nadal as Djokovic wins 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 in the final of the US Open.

> December 4: Beats Argentina’s Juan Monaco and Del Potro to help Spain win their third Davis Cup crown in four years.

> January 29: Djokovic wins a third straight Grand Slam final against Nadal, beating him 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in five hours and 53 minutes at the Australian Open, the longest Grand Slam final in history.

> April 22: Ends a seven-match losing streak against Djokovic in Monte Carlo, in turn winning his eighth consecutive title in the Principality.

> June 11: Becomes the first man to win seven French Open titles beating Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in a rain-delayed final.

Rafael Nadal

> June 28: Suffers a shock defeat by World No 100 Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon, his earliest Grand Slam defeat in seven years.

> July: Pulls out of the London Olympics, where he had been due to carry Spain;s flag at the Opening Ceremony, with knee problems. He does not play again for seven months.

> February 6: Plays his first match back at a tournament in Chile. He reaches the final but loses to Horacio Zeballos.

> March: After winning titles on clay in Sao Paulo and Acapulco, Nadal beats Del Potro in the final in Indian Wells to win his first title (not on clay) since 2010.

> April: Fails to win a ninth straight title in Monte Carlo as he loses to Djokovic in the final. Goes on to win titles in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

Rafael Nadal

> June 9: Becomes the first man to win eight singles titles at a single Grand Slam with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over David Ferrer in the French Open final.

> September 9: Beats Djokovic in four sets to claim second US Open title.  

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