Rafael Nadal Ranked Eighth Most Famous Athlete By ESPN

ESPN today released its third-annual World Fame 100, which ranks the 100 most famous athletes on the planet, and Rafael Nadal ranked No. 8 on the list.

Luke Hemer/Tennis Australia

Cristiano Ronaldo heads the World Fame 100 list, followed by LeBron James in second and Lionel Messi in third.

The ESPN World Fame 100 is based on a formula created by ESPN’s director of sports analytics Ben Alamar, and combines salary, endorsements, social media following and Google search popularity.

Once again, Nadal picked himself up off the mat of injury to prove that he isn’t done chasing and challenging his nemesis, Roger Federer. Nadal, rebounding from a wrist injury that sidelined him for the second half of 2016, continued to offer fans a viable alternative to the artistry of Federer with his savagely physical game. The 31-year-old Mallorcan actually upstaged Federer on paper — if not in the hearts of fans. The men split the four Grand Slam titles, but Nadal finished the year ranked No. 1. Yet when Nadal opened his tennis academy in Mallorca, his guest of honor was his bro … Roger Federer. — Peter Bodo

There are 12 tennis players on the list.

No. 5 Roger Federer

No. 8 Rafael Nadal

No. 12 Serena Williams

No. 13 Novak Djokovic

No. 21 Maria Sharapova

No. 48 Venus Williams

No. 56 Andy Murray

No. 66 Caroline Wozniacki

No. 76 Stan Wawrinka

No. 77 Simona Halep

No. 98 Victoria Azarenka

No. 100 Sania Mirza

Click here to see the full list.

Source: ESPN


  1. The extract from Bodo above is just one big insult (he is widely considered as not being a Rafa fan to put it mildly). Just one ridiculous point alone: Rafa’s game is not ‘savagely physical’ – he is the most measured and tactical player on tour and has always had a notoriously tidy scoresheet i.e. he is a conservative payer – he makes very few unforced errors – this is not the game of someone who is savagely physical. Agassi described Rafa as a ‘cerebral player’ years ago (needless to say he knows more about tennis than a ‘tennis writer’). Rafa has also made major improvements to his game over the last few years which most commentators have alluded to – he now runs far less than he use to. Note RF helped inaugurate the Academy in 2016 before the seasons Bodo alludes to so his ‘piece’ is out of sequence. As for the rest of it, read it carefully and make your own minds up – note the ‘on paper’. I’m surprised to see it on the RNF website.

    • PAY ZERO ATTENTION TO ANY POOR , NONSENSICAL PHRASING……..OR EMPTY WORDS…… FORTUNATELY, MOST ARTICLES ABOUT OUR BELOVED CHAMP RAFA NADAL ARE ENORMOUSLY FLATTERING & HIGHLY ADORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) MEANWHILE, ENJOY & KEEP THINKING YOUR OWN GREAT THOUGHTS ABOUT RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) 🙂

    • Glad I’m not the only one who feels as you do. They lost me after I read “chasing” as can be seen by my comment. I was livid.

      A few hours after posting my comment I did note that “on paper” insult. HOW DARE HE. Was too angry to post a civil response.


  2. French Open Tidbits

    If he hasn’t already, Rafa is due to arrive today in Paris. Social media has him practicing already but I was unable to confirm that.

    H. Chung: withdrew because of a persistent ankle injury.

    M. Raonic: withdrew because of a knee injury.

    DelPotro has started practicing but has yet to confirm he will play.

    Happy Birthday to Nole who turned 31 yesterday.

    WTA player Serena will be unseeded and is ranked 453 after returning to the Tour following the birth of her daughter, Alexis.

    Can’t wait to see Rafa start his quest for an 11th Coupe des Mousquetaires.


    • Margo, Thanks as always for the updates. It will be interesting to see who plays Djokovic. He is ranked 22, but may end up 20 or 19, if Delpo does not play. The weather looks like it may be warm at least the first week.

      • va4favre you’re welcome.

        Yes, that’s about right re Nole. We should know by Friday. Hopefully.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Hmmm

        Looks like Rafa may have a not tough way to his 11th FO title.

        Thiem, Djokovic, Nishikori, Goffin, Wawrinka and Tsitsipas are in the bottom half with A. Zverev instead of the top half with Nadal.

        Rafa is expected to play Dolgopolov in R1, and Nole will play a qualifier.
        [Ricky, TheGrandstand]

  3. Rafa #1 champ in my book 🎾💪🏼😘

    Can anyone tell me when Rafas first match in RG is going to be? 🤔😍


    • Rafantastic, that info not yet available and the main draw is not until Friday.

      The first round matches are scheduled for this coming Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Last year Rafa played on Monday. Don’t forget that there are no byes in Grand Slams. RNF will probably let us know as soon as they can.


      • Yes, I’m sure they will 😉👍🏻
        Ok. – Thx. Margo 🌺🤗☀️

        RAFA TOYALLY ROCKS 🎾💪🏼😍🍀

      • Any time Rafantastic. Wish I could have been more helpful.


      • Big help, Margo 🌻😃👍🏻


      • I’ll be going to the French Open on the first Monday and Tuesday in the hope of seeing Rafa play on one of those two days. Fingers tightly crossed!🤞🏻

      • Lorna, WOW WEEEEE. Awesome. Sure hope you get to see Rafa in action and then you can tell us all about it. Our own Rafa correspondent. Enjoy.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • Oh wow, Lorna! – Lucky you 😃👍🏻 Enjoy 😍🎾👏🏻

    • Rafantastic, the French Open schedule has Rafa playing on Sunday. You may want to keep checking there and here for confirmation.

      They also have Stan; DelPo, Nole, Tsitsipas, Thiem and A. Zverev playing on Sunday. This will be one busy Sunday if they all play.


    • Rafantastic, I just counted 128 ATP players playing on Sunday. That doesn’t make sense. Does it? The website may still be in the process of scheduling. Today is only Friday.

      I am too excited to see Rafa. Will have to be more patient.


  4. So proud of you and everything you do. Loved watching you in Rome.
    All the best for Roland Garros.
    Sending you a birthday card 😍

  5. ,Rafa lists don’t take into account your great humanitarian approach to all things in life,

    far beyond tennis, and money and winning.

    You are a number one humanitarian,

    Enjoy your rest and relaxation,

    and all the best for Roland Garros,

    Love and prayers,


    • Most of the top players have generous foundations, but many of them live in tax havens. Roger was born in one, but so many of the star athletes live in Monte Carlo, Dubai, Bahamas where they can avoid heavy taxes. I always admire Rafa and Andy Murray who do not. They want to live close to their friends and family.

  6. Rafa you always be my number one .god bless you ,stay healthy and good luck and the French Open.you are going to win again . Congratulations we love your fans foe ever🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍❤️🏸😍❤️😍❤️👍👍👍👍👍👍🎾🎾🎾

  7. Dear Rafa,

    And I must wish you all the best and
    Blessings at Roland Garros

    Love you. Marylynn

  8. Dear Rafa, you will always be numero uno with me. God bless you. Please stay healthy and pain free. Love you. Marylynn

  9. Rafa doesn’t chase ANYONE. He chases and challenges HIMSELF to keep improving, to keep playing competitively for as long as he can.

    I believe he will win Roland-Garros AND Wimbledon.

    He is currently home and spending time on Beethoven, fishing and hanging with friends. This is his time to relax and enjoy life outside of tennis away from the tour and all that it entails.


    • Right on Margo. Rafa does not chase anyone. RG-Wimbledon would be a dream! Make it happen champ- stay healthy!

      • Mac, I just feel with such little time playing this year he should be in better shape than usual for a Wimby win. I pray his knees are okay.


    • Margo, I am not sure that I share your optimism on Wimby. I would be happy for a deep dive to the second week. I am hoping that Rafa will be fresher during the HC season. My dream is for Rafa to win the WTF.

      • I am usually in favor of him skipping grass but we know he wouldn’t do that. This year I just feel he may be in better shape physically and mentally to win. Who knows. He said he loves grass but Rafa loves TENNIS COURTS, period. LOL

        A win at the WTF would be VERY nice indeed but it’s not a Slam which I hope he is aiming for.

        Don’t forget there is Davis Cup, Laver Cup [I don’t think he is playing Laver] and plenty more tournaments before the WTF. Let’s see how he is after the FO, and/or grass.

        Just thinking about what Rafa has ahead of him has me exhausted.

    • For the records, Margo, it was my good, old Aunt Maria the Siberian who was the first to accurately predict that Rafa would win all the remains 3 grand slams including Wimby. This prediction was made as early as December last year.

      Obviously, with the passage of time and thinking no one would be able to trace your “plagiarism” you now decided to go to town with my Aunt’s prediction like it first came from you!!!

      This is not good, Margo. If good, old Aunt Maria should hear about this, all hell would literary be let loose. You should give credit to whom it is due.

      But as always, we’d see……hmmn

      • Your insignificant statements elude me. What I do recall is that you constantly predict Rafa losing. Take a hike.

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