15 years ago, Rafa Nadal enjoyed the most prolific season of his career. While he has managed to collect 85 trophies to make the trip to the trophy cabinet in the Rafa Nadal Museum Experience, eleven of them were earned in 2005, more than any other year in his career. That season he also played in twelve finals.


It was his first full season on the ATP Tour, which he embarked on as the world No. 51 in the opening week in Doha. Starting with his first-round victory against Mikhail Youzhny, he strung together 79 wins from 89 matches in the 21 tournaments and a Davis Cup series that he participated in that year, which he ended as No. 2. Only in 2008 did he win as many matches (82-11).


After a fruitless hard-court swing in January with a record of 5-3 and a withdrawal through injury in Auckland, in February he set out on his journey towards the most successful campaign of his career to date.


1. Costa do Sauipe

Nadal was making his first visit to South America, landing in Buenos Aires, where the then No. 8 Gastón Gaudio sent him packing in the quarter-finals. From there, the Spaniard did not concede a match for the rest of the trip. On the clay of Costa do Sauipe he won his first title of 2005 and the second of his career, defeating José Acasuso (R32), Álex Calatrava (R16), Agustín Callieri (QF), Ricardo Mello (SF) and Alberto Martín (F).


2. Acapulco

After the five consecutive victories in Costa do Sauipe, the Manacor native strung together another five to claim his most prestigious title yet. In addition, he did so without losing a single set against Álex Calatrava (R32), Santiago Ventura (R16), Guillermo Cañas (QF), Mariano Puerta (SF) and Albert Montañés (F). The Balearic Islander said goodbye to the Golden Swing with an outstanding 12-1 record.


3. Monte Carlo

His first final in a Masters 1000 could not have been further from clay; it came at the Miami Open. It was 3 April 2005 and he was very close to claiming his first crown in the category. However, he was unable to close out a final in which he had Roger Federer against the ropes at just 18 years of age (6-2, 7-6[4], 6-7[5], 3-6, 1-6). From there, he travelled to Valencia, where after losing to Igor Andreev in the quarters, he set out on one of the most stunning streaks of his career. In the first round in Monte Carlo, Nadal started a run of 81 consecutive victories on clay that allowed him to win the first of the 11 Monte Carlo titles he now has to his name.


4. Barcelona

That same year he also laid the foundations at a tournament that has proved a favourite throughout his career: the Barcelona Open. After opening his Masters 1000 account, he won the first of the eleven Conde de Godó trophies he has since claimed. Once again, he won the tournament without losing a set, seeing off Gilles Muller (R32), Dominik Hrbaty (R16), Agustín Callieri (QF), Radek Stepanek (SF) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (F). After that title, on the 25 April 2005 he made his first appearance in the top 10 of the ATP Rankings (where he has been ever since) as the world No. 7.


5. Rome

The Foro Itálico is another venue that has witnessed the best of Nadal on many occasions. The first time was in 2005, when he won the first of the nine titles in his cabinet. He left the Italian capital on a streak of 17 victories, picked up against Mikahil Youzhny (R64), Victor Hanescu (R32), Guillermo Cañas (R16), Radek Stepanek (QF), David Ferrer (SF) and Guillermo Coria (F). The final against the Argentine ended in an epic final-set tiebreak, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6).


6. Roland Garros

It was the last of the four Grand Slams he debuted in. After five participations in other tournaments in the category since 2003, he made his first appearance in the French Open in 2005 to show the world that he was destined to rewrite history with one of the most astonishing success stories in the game. He defeated Lars Burgsmuller (R128), Xavier Malisse (R64), Richard Gasquet (R32), Sebastien Grosjean (R16), David Ferrer (QF), Roger Federer (SF) and Mariano Puerta (F), to win the first of his 19 Grand Slams.


7. Bastad

A short spell on the grass swing with one victory from three matches led him back to clay, this time in Bastad. Now at No. 3 in the world, he once again dominated on a surface where he seemed unrivalled. Juan Mónaco (R32), Alberto Martín (R16), Juan Carlos Ferrero (QF) and Tommy Robredo (SF) were unable to take a set from him on his way to a final in which he saw off Tomas Berdych.


8. Stuttgart

In Germany, he brought an end to his 2005 clay campaign with the eighth trophy of his season, all coming from the slowest surface. The Stuttgart tournament said goodbye to a Nadal with a 34-0 record since the start of his unbeaten run in the first round in Monte Carlo. There he overcame Hugo Armando (R32), Fernando Verdasco (R16), Tomas Zib (QF), Jarkko Nieminen (SF), again without losing a set before his final against Gastón Gaudio.


9. Canada

Nadal’s first trophy on hard court would have to wait until the ATP Masters 1000 in Canada. The Spaniard had by now climbed to No. 2 in the world and confirmed his new status away from his clay comfort zone. He beat Carlos Moyà (R64), Ricardo Mello (R32), Sebastien Grosjean (R16), Mariano Puerta (QF), Paul-Henri Mathieu (SF) and Andre Agassi (F). In Montreal, he won the first of his five titles in Canada, his most successful hard-court tournament.


10. Beijing

The Spaniard continued to build on a spectacular season during his time in China, adding a tenth title to his year in Beijing. It was the only tournament he played in the Asian swing, but he did not lose a single match: Jimmy Wang (R32), Justin Gimelstob (R16), Peter Wessels (QF), Juan Carlos Ferrero (SF) and Guillermo Coria (F). He started a new streak of unbeaten matches to end the year with 12 victories on the trot.


11. Madrid

After the claiming trophy in Beijing and helping Spain keep its place in the World Group in the Davis Cup in Italy, he closed out a long season at the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid, which was then played on indoor hard court. As well as claiming his eleventh crown of 2005, it would also be the only title of his career, to date, on that surface. His journey to the title was anything but plain sailing. After seeing off Victor Hanescu (R32), Tommy Robredo (R16), Radek Stepanek (QF) and Robby Ginepri (SF), he had to come back from two sets down against Ivan Ljubicic, whom he eventually beat 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3).


While the trophies from Costa do Sauipe and Monte Carlo have been moved to the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre in Costa Mujeres, the remaining 9 can be enjoyed by fans visiting the Museum located in the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Manacor.

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