Tennis star Nadal turns into an asteroid

  • AFP, Madrid
  • |
  • Updated: Jul 13, 2008 15:19 IST

Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has been honoured a week after his epic Wimbledon victory over Roger Federer by having an asteroid named after him.

The 22-year-old has had the asteroid - which is 4 kilometres in diameter - discovered in 2003 and previously known as 128036 named in his honour by the Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca, from where Nadal hails.

The astronomers wanted to pay homage to 'one of the greatest tennis players of all time' a spokesman for the Observatory told AFP.

Nadal, winner of the French Open for the past four years, won what was seen as one of the greatest finals at Wimbledon last Sunday ending Federer's five-year reign with an epic 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 win in the longest final - four hours and 48 minutes - in the history of the tournament.

Nadal's victory also saw him close the gap on the world number one to 545 points in the ATP rankings released on last Monday.

The Spaniard could end the Swiss' stay at the top of the rankings, a position he has held for a record number of weeks since February 2004, before the end of the season.


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