Happy 24th, Rafa!

Photo by BORIS HORVAT/ AFP/ Getty Images

So, when we last celebrated a birthday, we had time to do a total Rafa timeline. This year, thankfully, there isn’t so much time to cover because Rafa has kept us too busy to make any party plans. At least he was even smart enough to arrange a day off for himself on his big day. Have a good one, Rafa, and come back to play Melzer with all of your wise 24 years on Friday.


Returned to the tour making the quarters of the Rogers Cup and semifinal of Cincinnati August

Q. You think in some ways you might be fresher now than you tend to be at this time of the season?

RAFAEL NADAL: Fresher, sure. I don’t know if this fresh is very good, but I am fresher, yeah.

Reached the semifinals of the USO September

“Many people have asked me that and said it. The truth is that unless all the balances in the world are wrong, I have not lost any weight. I am the same” – when yet again asked if he’s lost weight because he looks thinner

“I have been told I look very aggressive on court but I am very quiet outside the court.” – US Open blog

“I think in the end, the most important thing is being true to yourself, being honest with yourself.” – interview to accompany Nike photoshoot

Reached the semifinals of the China Open and the finals in Shanghai October

Received a full-sized replica of the Trofeo Conde de Godo October

Named ‘Universal Spaniard’ 2009 October

Reached semifinal in Paris Masters November

Received the Grand Prize of the French Academy of Sport November

“I played bad. I won. That’s one positive thing that I had all my career, and it’s important (I) don’t lose this ability to win matches when you are not playing really well.”

“My parents’ divorce made an important change in my life. It affected me. After that, when I can’t play Wimbledon, it was tough. For one month I was outside the world.”

“I am totally in love with this sport.”

Part of the winning Davis Cup Team December


Won Abu Dhabi exhibition January

Reached the finals in Doha January

“I have had under-confidence and things in the head – but that’s life. You have to accept problems and you have to come back. I am trying. We will see what happens in the next six months.”

“Realise that you are just another person. This is one of the most important things I have learnt. On the tennis court you may be different, you may be a star, but when you walk off the court, you are just another person.”

Reached the Australian Open quarterfinals January

“Happy. Happy always starting Grand Slam.”

“Like when Roger was tossing the racquet and Jim asked me: ‘Rafa up or down?’ and I understood Rafa up and down and started jumping! :-)” – AO blog about the Hit for Haiti

“I LOVE the competition, I love the sport and I love to play tennis. This is the main thing.” – AO blog

Starred in “Gypsy” music video with Shakira February

Reached the semifinals in Indian Wells singles March

Won the doubles title at Indian Wells with Marc! March

“I don’t understand nothing.” – in regards to the controversy during the Hit for Haiti 2

Reached the semifinals in Miami April

Won Monte-Carlo becoming the only man in the open era to win a title 6 years in a row April

“It doesn’t mean that since I won Monte Carlo five years in a row, I can win for the sixth time.”

“I love the sea, no? I love being at the sea. And I live on the sea. So wake up, I have very nice views from my room. Wake up watching the sea, that’s give me a lot of energy.”

“Sure for me is very emotional. Is probably my favorite tournament. I love this tournament. Win here another time is a dream for me.”

Won Rome May

Won Madrid, his 18th Masters Series title May

Broke Agassi’s record of 17 Masters titles won in a career May

First player to win 3 Masters in a row May

So far, reached the semis at Roland Garros… June

“I am satisfaction.”

34 Responses

  1. SpanishRNfan says:

    Happy Birthday Rafael!!!

    Wonderful work Miry!!!… I have an smile in my face for the rest of the day after reading this lovely tribute. :))

  2. patzin says:

    Happy Birthday baby, got you on my miiind (from song). He has had a wonderful year so far; he lives and breathes on the clay. Nice summary of events and Rafa-isms.

  3. Atch2 says:

    Happy Birthday Rafa!

    Stay the same beautiful person that you are inside and out.
    Hope you have many more years of competition, and good health for always.

  4. Sachin Nikam says:

    Happy Bday Rafa..
    Please beat Andy Murray like anything..