“A lot of people doubted my skills on the turf when I was younger”


Making his ATP home debut in Mallorca in April 2002, 15-year-old Rafael Nadal experienced the magic of the top professional level. A teenager became one of the youngest players with an ATP victory, leaving his junior run behind and eager to test his abilities against much older and more experienced rivals.

Rafa notched 19 Challenger victories in the first three months of 2003 to place in the top 150 before winning five ATP triumphs in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Hamburg to make a name for himself. Nadal must have pulled off what could have been an impressive first appearance at Roland Garros due to an elbow injury, and he made his Major debut at Wimbledon without testing the grass events before London.

Nadal competed at Wimbledon a year ago at the junior level, reaching the semi-final and accumulating experience and confidence on a surface he was unfamiliar with. Playing his first professional match at Wimbledon, Rafa beat a big server Mario Ancic.

By the will of the draw, the Spaniard had an easy day at the office against Lee Childs in the second round, becoming one of the youngest players in the third round of Wimbledon in the Open era alongside Boris Becker and Mats. Wilander.

Jumping Wimbledon in 2004 due to injury, Rafa suffered an early loss to Gilles Muller a year later, working on his game and providing the updates needed to become a turf competitor in the years to come.

Rafael Nadal reached the third round at Wimbledon on his debut in 2003.

In 2006, Nadal survived a thrilling competition against Robert Kendrick in the second round, wrestling from two sets to love and raising his level to advance to the final.

There he won a set against defending champion Roger Federer before falling in four sets. The same rivals also fought for the crown a year later, and Roger prevailed in the decider to keep the trophy in his hands. Determined to turn his improved abilities on the fastest surface into titles, Nadal would win both Queen’s and Wimbledon in 2008, taking a big step on his way to the greatest players of all time.

Rafa won his second crown at Wimbledon two years later, winning the second “Channel Slam” and making history. “It is true that my style of play and my way of approaching tennis had led a lot of people to believe that my game would never be suitable for this surface.

However, my team and I noticed that I was able to play well on grass. In the end, the confidence and positivity helped me convince myself that I could play on any surface, including the most extreme. I reached the semi-final at Wimbledon as a junior and reached the third round on my professional debut, “said Rafael Nadal.

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