50 Most Marketable 2012 - Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal - Spanish, 25, Tennis (16)
Such was the success of his 2010 season, Rafael Nadal must have been more than a little frustrated with his performance in 2011.
In a year in which he won just the one Grand Slam, at the French Open, and finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon and the US Open, he was also usurped by the unstoppable Serb at the top of the men’s rankings in July. Since then, the Spaniard has, like every other player on the ATP Tour, been operating very much in Djokovic’s shadow, although a crushing victory over his meanest rival in the final of April’s Monte Carlo Masters, his first in eight attempts, did at least confirm his status as the ‘King of Clay’.
Away from the court, Nadal’s commercial potential has surely peaked; a deciding factor in his slip of 11 places from 16th on last year’s list. Nevertheless, the man from Majorca remains a sought-after endorser and for that reason his inclusion this time around is certainly not unmerited.
Still – amazingly – only 25 years of age and blessed with a charming mix of likeability and good looks, it is clear that Nadal has more than time on his side – although a troublesome knee may prove his Achilles heel, so to speak, in that regard.
Still, whatever age Nadal decides to call it a day, one thing is for sure: his is a face that will adorn billboards, grace television sets and feature on most marketable lists for some time to come.
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