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IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

Last updated on: June 09, 2014 16:02 IST

IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

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Factbox on Rafael Nadal who won his ninth French Open title, and record fifth in succession, after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday.

Making his name

Born in Manacor, Mallorca, June 3, 1986.

His uncle Miguel Angel Nadal had a successful career as a professional footballer, notably for Barcelona and Spain.

Naturally right-handed, Nadal became left-handed after another uncle Toni Nadal, his coach and mentor, saw it would give him a huge advantage. He turned professional in 2001.

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Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain in 2003
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

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Fourteen Grand Slam titles

French Open 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, Wimbledon 2008, 2010; US Open 2010, 2013; Australian Open 2009

Won the French Open on his debut and a year later beat Roger Federer in the final for his second title. In 2007, Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a hat-trick of Roland Garros titles.

In 2008 beat then World No 1 and defending champion Federer to win his first Wimbledon title in one of the greatest matches of all time.

The following year he beat Federer in the final in Melbourne to become the first Spaniard to win the Australian Open in another classic five-set showdown.

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Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain walks off with the trophy after winning the Wimbledon Championship in 2008
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Image

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IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

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In 2009 he suffered his first French Open defeat when he lost to Robin Soderling in the fourth round. He came back the next year to regain the title, beating Soderling in the final.

His fifth French Open title came without the loss of a set and he became the first man to complete the "clay slam", winning the big four clay tournaments in the same season.

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Image: Robin Soderling (below net) of Sweden goes to shake hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain following his victory
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Image

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IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

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In 2010, he won his first US Open title, becoming the seventh man to win all four Grand Slam titles.

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Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning the US Open in 2010
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

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Nadal equalled Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles in 2011. The seventh, in 2012, ended world number one Djokovic's hopes of holding all four grand slam titles at the same time.

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Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates match point during the men's singles final against Roger Federer in 2011
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

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In 2013, he became the first man with eight titles at the same Grand Slam tournament when he beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the French Open final. He also won the US Open.

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Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates against David Ferrer in 2013
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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IN PHOTOS: The Legend of Rafael Nadal

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His 2014 win makes Nadal the first man to win five successive French Open titles. His overall grand slam tally of 14 makes him joint second on the all-time list with Pete Sampras and just three shy of Federer's record haul.

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Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain cries as he attends the trophy ceremony after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Sunday
Photographs: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

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Other milestones

From April 2005 to May 2007, Nadal won a record 81 consecutive matches on clay before losing to Federer. In 2008, he ended Federer's 4-1/2 year reign as World No 1.

Won men's singles gold at the 2008 Olympic Games.

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Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning the gold medal against Fernando Gonzalez of Chile during the men's singles gold medal tennis match held at the Olympic Green Tennis Center of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Injury woes

Has had knee troubles. Nadal did not defend his Wimbledon title in 2009, withdrew from the 2010 Australian Open in the quarter-finals and was out for seven months after losing in the second-round of Wimbledon in 2012.


Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts as he receives treatment during the Australian Open's men's singles final in 2014
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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