“I truly detest losing,” says Rafael Nadal.

Although Rafael Nadal lost his first ATP final to Dominik Hrbaty at the age of 17 in Auckland in 2004, he has won the majority of his titles on clay. Twelve months later, the young Spaniard won titles at Costa do Sauipe and Acapulco while dazzling on clay in February. He also went to the fourth round of the Australian Open, challenging Lleyton Hewitt in five sets.

In Miami in 2004, Rafa shocked Roger Federer, and in Florida in 2005, he had another outstanding run, defeating five opponents to reach the championship match, his first in the Masters 1000 series and the most significant on hard courts of his early career.

Nadal defeated Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3 in the semi-final match to advance to his third ATP final overall and avenge a difficult loss to David in Stuttgart last summer. But in an effort to capture the first championship at the top ATP level, Nadal overtook Michael Chang to become the second-youngest finalist in the Masters 1000.

Rafa faced two break chances and lost serve once to retain the pressure on the other side of the net while serving at 69 percent and losing 17 points in nine service games. David failed to follow up on his initial shot, holding just fine twice, and losing four of the six opportunities Nadal was given to terminate his semifinal run.

The younger Spaniard controlled his shots more effectively, dictating pace from the baseline with his deep, accurate groundstrokes and counted numerous errors from his opponent to secure the deal. Both players committed more unforced errors than the winners.

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with grace. Nadal had a shaky service game, but it didn’t hurt him much because he built up a sizable lead in the first set and only dropped five points in his games the whole second set as he cruised to victory.

22 Grand Slam titles have been won by Rafa Nadal.

Rafael Nadal began his professional career in 2001, his mind already in the category of the great athletes.

The 16-year-old came into the ATP with a strong will and a well-thought-out list of goals. Well, I guess it would be to advance as far as I can, to excel as a tennis player, he continued. Just keep putting in the effort every day, that’s all.

It won’t be simple, I’m sure. “There’s so much high-level competition out there,” he continued. Because I’m younger than everyone else, I typically assume that they must be much better than me when I compete in tournaments.

But once you’re on the court, things usually level out because I’m a warrior and I truly detest losing. Within four years of his debut, the Spanish youngster lived up to his boasts and won his first Grand Slam trophy.

“I truly detest losing,” says Rafael Nadal.

By Antonio Zaccaro

Hello, I'm Antonio Zaccaro, tennis lover since I was 13. I started this blog out of pure passion, and now it has become my job. I constantly follow all the tournaments and I am always updated on all the news. What I know, I share with all my readers. My considerations are the result of hours and hours spent in front of screens and on tennis courts.