Asteroid named after tennis player Rafael Nadal

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An asteroid has been named Rafael Nadal for the player who has won four French Open, one Davis Cup and the recent Wimbledon.

14 July 2008

MAJORCA - An asteroid that moves at a speed of 20 kilometres per second has been named "Rafael Nadal" in honour of the young tennis sensation from the island of Majorca.

The Astronomical Observatory of Majorca announced Sunday its decision to award "a space present" to "one of the best tennis players of all time" by renaming an asteroid located between Mars and Jupiter, whose scientific number is 128036, after Nadal.

The asteroid was discovered in 2003 and its new name was approved by the International Astronomical Union as a tribute to a player who has so far won four French Opens, one Davis Cup and one Wimbledon.

Nadal, 22, captured Spain's imagination when he beat Roger Federer in a five-set Wimbledon final earlier in July.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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