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Rafael Nadal

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Rafael ("Rafa") Nadal (June 3, 1986, Manacor, Mallorca, Spain), is a Spanish tennis player. He began playing tennis at the age of four, taught by his uncle, Toni Nadal, who continues to be his coach. Nadal played left-handed even though he was naturally right-handed, to add extra power to his backhand. He turned professional in 2001 and in 2003 won the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award. Nadal led Spain to victory in the 2004 Davis Cup when he beat American Andy Roddick in the final. In 2005 he won several championship titles including the French Open, Rome Masters, Carlo Masters, and the China Open. At the 2006 French Open, Nadal beat the World No. 1 player, Roger Federer, his 54th straight victory on clay. Nadal reached the singles finals at Wimbledon that same year, where he lost to Federer. In 2006 he was named Laureus World Sports Newcomer of the Year.