History will always remember August 15 as the day Rafael Nadal was crowned for the first time in an ATP tournament. 16 years passed from that 6-3, 6-4 against José Acasuso on the brick dust of Sopot, Poland, in which a Rafa of only 18 years old began a long history.
A story that little by little led a daring Spaniard to become known throughout the world. The title in Sopot is, without a doubt, one of those that Rafa will never forget: he won from end to end without giving up any set in the contest. And the trophy is on display in his museum as one of the player’s main relics. It was the beginning of a career full of achievements, 85 ATP tournaments of which 19 were Grand Slams.
It was in brick dust that Rafa always felt most comfortable. He celebrated 12 times at Roland Garros (absolute record) and completed a total of 59 on this surface, surpassing Guillermo Vilas as the top winner.
The former world number 1, currently 2 in the ranking, was only 18 and two months old, but it was already the second end of his career (he had lost the first months before in Auckland against Hrbaty) and I only need 64 official matches to win a title. Simply Rafa.