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Meet the rising star of Spanish tennis
Around the Academy:

Rafael Nadal blasts home another ace
Rafael is a bit of an ace on the tennis court
Rafael Nadal is lucky enough to have Carlos Moya as a mentor.

It's a big name star to help guide the young Spanish tennis sensation through the early years of a promising career.

The 17-year-old's amazing progress will have delighted Moya, but he won't be too pleased about one of his young protégé's recent victories.

The trouble, you see, is that Moya was the man he beat!

Despite being almost 10 years his teacher's junior, Nadal managed to win in straight sets at the Hamburg Masters in Germany.

Carlos Moya believes Nadal will be a future great
Moya is Nadal's mentor

And all this came just a few weeks after his victory over French Open champion Albert Costa - a win that came in only his second ever professional tournament!

And he hasn't stopped there. Nadal reached the third round at Wimbedon with some excellent performances, gaining plenty of fans along the way.

Nadal's impressive forehand, steady serve and baseline prowess make him a formidable opponent, and recent results prove he's not afraid of anyone!

His amazing performances this season have moved him to 71 in the world rankings, and the experts reckon he could soon be a top ten player.

Like many top stars, Nadal's family has a history of sporting achievement.

His uncle, Miguel Angel Nadal, has played football for Barcelona and Mallorca, and made 63 appearances for the Spanish national team.

Comparisons are already being made with another teenage superstar - France's Richard Gasquet.

With such a rich sporting pedigree and an obvious abundance of talent, the young Spaniard seems destined for stardom.

And at the age of 16, he's got plenty of time to achieve just that.


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More future stars:
Richard Gasquet
Alex Bogdanovic

Rafael Nadal facfile
Born: 6 March 1986, Mallorca
Height: 6ft (182 cm)
Weight: 165lbs (75kg)
Plays: Left-handed
Turned pro: 2001


FROM THE BBC >>
:: BBC Sport's tennis coverage
:: Costa stunned by teenager



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