|Capital:||€ 250 million|
|Country of origin:||Spain|
|Source of wealth:||Professional tennis player and entrepreneur|
Rafael Nadal is one of the best tennis professionals of all time and is still active in tennis at the age of 33. He is also a good businessman and successful in various industries.
Rafael Nadal was born on June 3rd, 1986 in Manacor on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca. Although he preferred to play football until his 12th birthday, he started swinging the tennis racket at the age of 4. His uncle Toni Nadal was a tennis instructor in Mallorca and took little Rafa, as Nadal is affectionately known, under his wing.
Rafa Nadal stood out when he was 8 years old when he won the U-12 Junior Championship in the Balearic Islands and gained his first competition experience. His uncle Toni was not mistaken in him and so at 15 he became a professional tennis player and left the school, much to the dismay of his mother. It is noteworthy that he was also a good football player and originally wanted to emulate his other uncle Miguel Angel Nadal. He was under contract with FC Barcelona and played for the Spanish national team.
In 2002, Rafa Nadal entered the ATP list, where he was ranked 818. He played his first game as a professional on April 29, 2002 at the Open in Mallorca and beat Paraguayan Ramon Delgado. Rafa Nadal was thus one of 8 tennis players in history to win an ATP match under the age of 16. Just one year later, he was listed among the top 100 players in the ATP ranking.
The breakthrough came in 2004 when he won his first ATP tournament in Sopot (Poland). In the same year he played for Spain in the Davis Cup and attracted a lot of attention with his spectacular game when he beat American Andy Roddick in the final and became the youngest player to ever win the Davis Cup.
Between January and June 2005 Rafa Nadal won 5 clay court tournaments and although he made his debut at the world’s most important clay court tournament in Roland Garros (Paris), he was one of the favorites. He hit the jackpot on June 3, his birthday, when he beat number 1 in the world rankings, Roger Federer, in the semi-finals. Two days later, he beats Argentinian Mariano Puerta in the final and becomes the second player after Mats Wilander, who wins in Paris as a debutant.
This victory in Paris catapulted him to 3rd place in the ATP ranking and made him a celebrity not only in Spain. Rafa Nadal received a blank check from Nike, for which he had been an advertising medium since he was 16, in order to make the sporting goods manufacturer number 1 in tennis.
Between 2005 and 2019 Rafa Nadal won 19 Grand Slam, 12 of them in Paris. He rounded off his triumphs with a success at the Australian Open, 2 victories in Wimbledon and 4 US Open. There are also numerous titles in ATP tournaments.
Rafa Nadal finally made the leap to first place in the international ranking of the ATP in 2008 and since then his career has been characterized by the permanent duel with Roger Federer. The two alternate at the top position in world tennis to this day. Many consider Rafa Nadal the best player ever on clay courts.
But Rafa Nadal is not only a good tennis player, he is also a successful businessman. He not only has his own brand “Rafa Nadal”, which he lends to large multinationals such as Telefonica Espana, the Korean car manufacturer Kia, the food company Nestlé as well as insurance companies and banks. He is also the developer of two luxury hotels in the Caribbean and a partner in a restaurant chain that he runs with other personalities from the sport.
His work as a philanthropist is remarkable. He has his own foundation, with which he supports numerous projects for young people and which is active not only in Europe, but also in India and the USA.
“If passion is lacking, you can’t make it to victory.”
“Defeat is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy.”
“I have no sense of humor about losing.”
What is extraordinary is the strong will that Rafa Nadal has repeatedly shown in recent years. He thought of quitting after several injuries in late 2018 and spring 2019. First he had problems with the quadriceps, then he got pain in the wrist and finally an infection under the fingernail.
Thanks to his willpower, he won his 12th title in Paris on June 9, 2019 and his fourth US Open on August 26. With these victories he became number 1 in the ATP world rankings.