Fan favorite Rafael Nadal, the 2011 winner of the ESPY award for Best Male Tennis Player, is widely perceived as a precocious and gifted athlete who works harder at his game than anyone else in the sport.
By age 16 Nadal already was ranked among the world’s Top 50 professional tennis players. In nominating him for the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) award, the sponsoring ESPN cable sports television network noted that last year he became the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open in the same year.
He’s only the seventh player in history to win the career Grand Slam (Wimbledon, and the Australian, French, and U.S. Opens). And he returned to Paris to win his sixth tournament title on the clay courts of Roland Garros earlier this year, cementing his reputation as the “King of clay.”
Nadal’s intensity, fierce competitiveness and punishing ground strokes have all been cited as reasons for his rise to the top of his profession. But the sudden and meteoric nature of his ascent may have another explanation.
In the current issue of Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, Keiron Le Grice, co-editor of the journal and author of The Archetypal Cosmos, reports that Nadal started putting together the impressive string of victories that lifted him to the top of the Association of Professional Tennis (ATP) rankings while a once-in-a-lifetime planetary combination was lighting up his astrological birth chart (horoscope).
Le Grice says researchers studying archetypal principles associated with the Sun, Moon and planets in astrology have consistently shown that angular relationships formed between the planets accurately anticipate major historical themes unfolding globally. And the same archetypal patterns show up tellingly in personal biographies as well.
He describes a breakout 15-month period between January 2008 and May 2009 when the 22-year-old Mallorcan embarked on a winning streak that saw him emerge from the shadow of Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer. Nadal won the French Open in Paris, the Wimbledon title, a Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics, the Australian Open and enough points from other ATP tournaments to overtake Federer as the No. 1 player in the world.
According to Le Grice, Nadal’s tennis fortunes dramatically improved when transiting Uranus, which orbits the sun every 84 years, was observed closing in on the same zodiacal degree occupied by Jupiter at the time of Nadal’s birth—a powerful alignment known as a conjunction.
Le Grice says Jupiter is associated with themes such as opportunity, growth, abundance, confidence, expansion, elevation and the experience of success. Uranus is related to revolutionary change and unexpected breakthrough experiences, but also to the sudden, the new, the flash of genius, the impulse to experiment.
When combined with Jupiter during this conjunction, themes such as successful leaps forward to new levels of achievement or sudden opportunities for success are among the possibilities. For Nadal, both outcomes were apparent during his remarkable run of victories in 2008.
Under less auspicious planetary alignments Nadal endured a barren period without a tournament victory during the last half of 2009. But the “tennis gods” smiled on him once again in 2010.
Early in the year Rafa received a fresh infusion of Jupiter/Uranus energy—this time as the orbiting Jupiter came into alignment with the position of Uranus in his natal chart. This was a flip-flop of the earlier pattern but likewise coincided with another period in which Nadal was able to fully capitalize on his tennis genius and produce another string of victories resulting in the EPSY award.
Le Grice’s article, Game, Set, Match …Nadal! Can be read at the http://www.archaijournal.org website.