Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal was 19 years and two days old when he won the 2005 French Open in his very first appearance at the event. A left-hander with a booming forehand, Nadal had been known as a clay-court specialist since playing his first pro tournaments in 2001. His aggressive style, flowing hair, and muscular build have made him a fan favorite as well. He won his first singles title in 2004, and had a breakout season in 2005, winning at Monte Carlo, Rome, Barcelona, and Stuttgart as well as at Roland Garros. He won the French Open again in 2006, 2007, and 2008, defeating rival Roger Federer in the final each time. In 2008 he broke through at Wimbledon, beating Federer to win the men's singles title in a spectacular fashion. Here is his unbelievable story.
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Tom Oldfield is the author of Arsene Wenger and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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