Rafael Nadal turns 25 years old today, and he has already racked up nine Grand Slam titles, five of which came at Roland Garros.
The Spanish star has a career 508-107 record, and he's the only player not named Roger Federer to have held the No. 1 ranking in the last seven years. Nadal captured the final three major tournaments of last season, jumping Federer in the rankings in the process.
His game used to be all defense, but he has added power and aggression to his repertoire. Add in a much-improved serve, and Nadal is now an all-court player with unbelievable athleticism and shot-making ability.
However, Nadal is playing in an era that overlaps possibly the greatest of all time in Roger Federer. Also, his of-age rivals are Novak Djokovic—who has won 43-straight matches—and Andy Murray. Nadal is in an era where the athleticism of each player is at its absolute highest. Almost every player that enters a major is gifted enough to go on a tear.
Right now, Nadal's mainstay is still the French Open. Five titles in six appearances and a 43-1 overall record at the tournament make him possibly the greatest big-time clay-court player of all time. If he wins his sixth French Open championship this year, he'll already have tied legendary Bjorn Borg for the most French Open titles in history.
He's currently in the semifinals of the 2011 French Open, but the other three players in the top four are there with him. Nadal squares off with Murray in the semifinals, with a win meaning a match with either Federer or Djokovic in the championship.
Here's a look at how much winning a sixth title in Paris would add to Nadal's career as a whole.