Spain's Nadal smiles as he takes a break during a practice session on Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011. Nadal is preparing for the Australian Open tennis championship which begins here Monday Jan. 17.
The heat is on
Rafael Nadal heads to Melbourne with hopes of winning his fourth-straight major to complete what is now known as the Rafa Slam. Here's a look at how he got here.
They meet again
Robin Soderling, left, and Rafael Nadal battled for the French Open title on June 6. It was their second-straight year meeting in the tournament after Soderling's surprise win in 2009.
Nadal lined up a backhand early in the match. The incredible defense from both players produced several long rallies.
Nadal had plenty of opportunities to display emotion, breaking Soderling four times in the match.
How's it taste?
Nadal takes his signature bite out of the Coupe des Mousquetaires after beating Soderling to win the 2010 French Open, beginning his Slam streak.
Rafael Nadal, left, and Tomas Berdych met for the Wimbledon men's championship on July 4 at Centre Court of the All England Club.
Full of energy
Nadal's relentless stamina helped him track down several of Berdych's powerful forehands throughout the match.
Nadal found a creative way to show his excitement after the match.
Taste of victory
Nadal takes a bite out of the trophy, his second at Wimbledon and eighth overall at the Grand Slams.
Smile for the cameras
Nadal, right, of Spain poses with Novak Djokovic of Serbia before play in the men's championship match at the 2010 U.S. Open.
Nadal reacts while playing against Djokovic en route to his first U.S. Open title.
Victory at last
Nadal defeats Djokovic to win the U.S. Open and claim his third-straight Slam.
Holding the prize
Nadal of Spain bites the championship trophy at the U.S. Open. The Open title completes Nadal's career slam as he has won every major at least once. But a 2011 title in Melbourne will give Nadal four consecutive Slam titles to complete the Rafa Slam.