One can definitely justify Nadal as the GOAT by virtue of his accomplishments in the grand slams. Not yet! ... The same thing is true about Masters 1000, where Nadal all time record with 35 titles won, unlike Federer who has won just 27 titles, but he missed more finals than Nadal.
Roger Federer and Nadal have been playing each other since 2004, and their rivalry is a significant part of both men's careers
The Djokovic–Nadal rivalry is a modern-day tennis rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, two of the greatest tennis players of all time
Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, a town on the island of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, Spain, to parents Ana María Parera Femenías and Sebastián Nadal Homar. His father is a businessman, owner of an insurance company, glass and window company Vidres Mallorca, and the restaurant, Sa Punta. Rafael has a younger sister, María Isabel. His uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal, is a retired professional footballer, who played for RCD Mallorca, FC Barcelona, and the Spanish national team. He idolized Barcelona striker Ronaldo as a child, and via his uncle got access to the Barcelona dressing room to have a photo with the Brazilian. Recognizing in Rafael a natural talent, another uncle, Toni Nadal, a tennis coach, introduced him to the game when he was three years old.
At age 8, Nadal won an under-12 regional tennis championship at a time when he was also a promising football player. This made Toni Nadal intensify training, and it was at that time that his uncle encouraged Nadal to play left-handed for a natural advantage on the tennis court, after studying Nadal's then two-handed forehand stroke.
At age 12, Nadal won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group, while also playing football. Nadal's father made him choose between football and tennis so that his school work would not deteriorate entirely. Nadal said: "I chose tennis. Football had to stop straight away."
When he was 14, the Spanish tennis federation requested that Nadal leave Mallorca and move to Barcelona to continue his tennis training. 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." The decision to stay home meant less financial support from the federation; instead, Nadal's father covered the costs. In May 2001, he defeated former Grand Slam tournament champion Pat Cash in a clay-court exhibition match.