His father is a businessman, owner of an insurance company, glass and window company Vidres Mallorca, and the restaurant, Sa Punta.
Nadal said: "I chose tennis. Football had to stop straight away.
His family turned down this request, partly because they feared his education would suffer,  but also because Toni said that "I don't want to believe that you have to go to America, or other places to be a good athlete.
You can do it from your home. In May , he defeated former Grand Slam tournament champion Pat Cash in a clay-court exhibition match. On 29 April , at 15 years and 10 months, the world No. He did not participate in any doubles Challengers events.
At ITF Futures, Nadal's record was 7—5 in singles and 1—2 in doubles, with no titles or finals appearances. Nadal finished the year with a Futures record of 40—9 in singles and 10—9 in doubles.
He won 6 singles tournaments at this level, including 5 on clay and 1 on hard courts. He did not reach any doubles finals. He then was defeated in the Round of 16 by Olivier Rochus.
In his Wimbledon debut in , he became the youngest man to reach the third round since Boris Becker in Finally, at Umag, he lost to Carlos Moya in the semifinals. After playing two more Challenger level events, the last Challenger tournaments of his career, Nadal finished his campaign with three first round losses in ATP events.
Later that year, the 34th-ranked year-old played the first of many matches against Federer, then ranked No. He missed most of the clay court season, including the French Open , because of a stress fracture in his left ankle. He finished the year ranked No. Two months later, he reached the final of the Miami Masters , and despite being two points from a straight-sets victory, he was defeated in five sets by No.
Both performances were considered breakthroughs for Nadal. He won 24 consecutive singles matches, breaking Andre Agassi 's Open Era record of consecutive match wins for a male teenager.
These victories raised his ranking to No. On his 19th birthday, Nadal defeated Federer in the French Open semifinals, being one of only four players to defeat the top-seeded player that year along with Marat Safin , Richard Gasquet , and David Nalbandian.
Two days later, he defeated Mariano Puerta in the final, becoming the second male player, after Mats Wilander in , to win the French Open on his first attempt.
Immediately after Wimbledon, Nadal won 16 consecutive matches and three consecutive tournaments, bringing his ranking to No. Nadal started his North American summer hard-court season by defeating Agassi in the final of the Canada Masters , but lost in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters.
Nadal was seeded second at the US Open , but was upset in the third round by No. He then suffered a foot injury that prevented his competing in the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup.
Nadal broke Mats Wilander 's previous teenage record of nine in Nadal won 79 matches, second only to Federer's Nadal won the Golden Bagel Award for , with eleven 6—0 sets during the year.
To complete the spring hard-court season, Nadal was upset in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California , by James Blake, and was upset in the second round of the Miami Masters. On European clay , Nadal won all four tournaments he entered and 24 consecutive matches.
Nadal broke Argentinian Guillermo Vilas 's year male record of 53 consecutive clay-court match victories by winning his first round match at the French Open.
Vilas presented Nadal with a trophy, but commented later that Nadal's feat was less impressive than his own because Nadal's winning streak covered two years and was accomplished by adding easy tournaments to his schedule.
The first two sets of the match were hardly competitive, as the rivals traded 6—1 sets. Nadal won the third set easily and served for the match in the fourth set before Federer broke him and forced a tiebreaker.
Nadal won the tiebreaker and became the first to defeat Federer in a Grand Slam tournament final.
Nadal was seeded second at Wimbledon, and was two points from defeat against American qualifier Robert Kendrick in the second round before coming back to win in five sets. In the third round, Nadal defeated No. Nadal also won his next three matches in straight sets, which set up his first Wimbledon final, which was against Federer, who had won this tournament the three previous years.
Nadal was the first Spanish man since Manuel Santana in , to reach the Wimbledon final, but Federer won the match in four sets to win his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title.
Nadal was seeded second at the US Open, but lost in the quarterfinals to No.
The immediate advantage has to go with the three women left in the draw at the time of writing who have made Grand Slam finals before, and of those three, Wozniacki is by far the most experienced. Karolina Pliskova made the US Open final in , but only one solitary quarterfinal this January besides.
Nadal played only three tournaments the remainder of the year. Joachim Johansson , ranked No. Because of those two victories, Nadal qualified for the semifinals, where he lost to Federer. This was Nadal's third loss in nine career matches with Federer.
Nadal went on to become the first player since Andre Agassi in —95 to finish the year ranked No. After another quarterfinal loss at the Dubai Tennis Championships , he won the Indian Wells Masters , before Novak Djokovic defeated him in the quarterfinals of the Miami Masters.
He had comparatively more success after returning to Europe to play five clay-court tournaments. This defeat ended his match winning streak on clay, which is the male Open Era record for consecutive wins on a single surface.
He then rebounded to win the French Open for the third straight year, defeating Federer once again in the final. Between the tournaments in Barcelona and Rome, Nadal defeated Federer in the " Battle of Surfaces " exhibition match in Mallorca, Spain, with the tennis court being half grass and half clay.
As in , Nadal was upset in the quarterfinals. Nadal then won consecutive five-set matches during the third and fourth rounds of Wimbledon before being beaten by Federer in the five-set final. This was Federer's first five-set match at Wimbledon since He played three important tournaments during the North American summer hard court season.
He was the second-seeded player at the US Open , but was defeated in the fourth round by David Ferrer. David Nalbandian upset him in the quarterfinals and final of those tournaments.
To end the year, Nadal won two of his three-round robin matches to advance to the semifinals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, where Federer defeated him in straight sets. During the second half of the year, Nadal battled a knee injury suffered during the Wimbledon final. In addition, there were rumors at the end of the year that the foot injury he suffered during , caused long-term damage, which were given credence by coach Toni Nadal 's claim that the problem was "serious".
Nadal and his spokesman strongly denied this, however, with Nadal himself calling the story "totally false". Nadal then reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for the first time.
Nadal also reached the final of the Miami Masters for the second time.