When the young Rafael Nadal reveals his modest projects

Two decades after playing his first ATP match, Rafael Nadal is still one of the best players in the world. Rafa has won 22 major titles and 36 Masters 1000 trophies, overcoming numerous injuries and giving everything to prolong his career.

Nadal was ranked in the top 10 for more than 17 years without leaving the elite group, breaking it in 2005 and never coming out. Nadal’s first ATP title came in Sopot in August 2004 at age 18, with much higher goals for the following season.

Rafa spoke about his main goals for 2005 at the start of the season in Melbourne. The youngster has mentioned a top-15 finish and his first appearance at Roland Garros as his main goals. The Spaniard moved up 150 places on the list in 2003 after his first Challenger titles and victories at Majors and Masters 1000.

Rafa had to skip Roland Garros in 2003 and 2004 due to injuries, and he was eager to change that in 2005. Nadal kicked off the season with the fourth round of the Australian Open. Rafa beat Julien Benneteau, Mikhail Youzhny and Bobby Reynolds before giving his 120% against Lleyton Hewitt.

Still, the Aussie prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 after three hours and 53 minutes to halt the youngster’s progress.

Rafael Nadal has revealed his goals from the 2005 Australian Open season.

Hewitt won just two points more than Nadal, who had a clear advantage over the home star in sets two and three.

Rafa dominated on serve and return and missed a chance to seal the deal in the fourth. A teenager ran out of steam in the decider to hand victory to his opponent. After the encounter, Nadal said he played at a high level despite finishing on the losing side.

He was hoping to crack the top 20 or top 15 in the rest of the season and finally make his Roland Garros debut. As we all know, the Spaniard achieved that and more, winning 79 out of 89 encounters and adding 11 titles to his tally for one of the greatest seasons for a teenager in tennis history.

Moreover, he finished in the top 2 alongside Roger Federer and became the second strongest link in men’s tennis. “My mission for this season is to finally play at Roland Garros and break into the top 20 or top 15,” said Rafael Nadal.

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