Rafael Nadal is still one of the finest players in the world twenty years after taking part in his first ATP competition. Rafa has overcome severe ailments and given all to prolong his career while winning 22 Major championships and 36 Masters 1000 awards.
Nadal entered the top-10 in 2005 and has remained there for more than 17 years without ever leaving the elite group. At the age of 18, Nadal won his first ATP championship in Sopot, with even larger expectations for the upcoming season.
Rafa talked about his primary objectives for 2005 in Melbourne at the beginning of the season. The young man listed his top priorities as finishing in the top 15 and making his Roland Garros debut. After winning his first Challenger tournaments as well as the Majors and the Masters 1000, the Spaniard rose 150 spots on the list in 2003.
Due to injury, Rafa was forced to skip Roland Garros in 2003 and 2004, thus he was determined to make up for it in 2005. Nadal began his campaign by reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open. Before giving Lleyton Hewitt his all, Rafa overcame Mikhail Youzhny, Bobby Reynolds, and Julien Benneteau.
To stop the teenager from moving on, the Australian won 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 after three hours and 53 minutes of play. Just two points separated Hewitt from Nadal, who easily defeated the local favorite in sets two and three.
Rafa had a commanding advantage in serve and return but blew a chance to win the match in the fourth. In the final match, the adolescent ran out of gas and conceded victory to his competitor. Despite coming up on the losing end, Nadal claimed that he had performed well during the match.
For the remainder of the season, he aimed to slip into the top-20 or top-15 and make his Roland Garros debut.
At the Canadian Open, Nadal will compete.
The former world number one Rafael Nadal spoke about what his uncle advised him before the important match in his autobiography, Rafael Nadal: My Story.
Ask Toni Nadal what his last words to his nephew were before he left the Wimbledon locker room at the beginning of the 2008 final, and he’ll tell you: “I told him to battle to the end and survive,” according to an excerpt from his book.
If you ask him how Rafa became the best tennis player in the world, he will respond, “Because it’s all in your brain, in your mentality, in wanting more, in enduring more than your adversary.” Nadal has also described what Toni says to him during his recovery from injuries; “Ask him what he says to Rafa on those days when the body rebels and the pain seems too great to compete on court, and his reply will be: I say to him, ‘Look, you’ve got two roads to choose from: tell yourself you’ve had enough and we leave, or be prepared to suffer and keep going. The options are to persevere or give up.