Celebrate the Left-Handed Heartthrob’s Quarter Century with Five of Tennis’s Greatest Male Stars
Currently competing in the 2012 French Open at Paris’s Roland Garros, Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal turns 25 today. To mark the occasion, NOWNESS unearthed young images of the sport’s other gifted enfants terribles: Las Vegas bad boy Andre Agassi, Ice-cool Björn Borg, John “You cannot be serious!” McEnroe, precocious Boris Becker, and wild-at-heart Goran Ivanisevic have all triumphed at the majors in headline-making style. One of the world’s best current players, Nadal exploded onto the world stage in 2005 by winning the French Open, becoming only the second person to do so at the first attempt. Revered for his virtuosity on clay, in 2008 Nadal reached new heights when he triumphed on the Wimbledon lawns and reached number one in the world rankings, dethroning the formidable Roger Federer. Reaching a Career Grand Slam by winning the US Open in 2010, Nadal’s status has recently been challenged by current number one Novak Djokovic. At the Australian Open earlier this year, the Serb bested Nadal in a nail-biting five-set final that played out over an epic five hours and 53 minutes, the longest in Grand Slam history. Nadal’s progress at Roland Garros this week will determine whether he can crown his birthday with a record-breaking seventh French Open title (he is currently tied with Borg on six), and win the event for the third consecutive year.