The highs and lows of 'Rafa' in 2014

Published 1142 GMT (1942 HKT) December 16, 2014
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Eyes always on the ball, but Rafael Nadal's 2014 was filled with highs but also several lows. Chris Hyde/Getty Images/file
At the start of the year he was in tears after losing the Australian Open final in January. Graham Denholm/Getty Images
Nadal injured his back in the warmup and fell to Swiss Stan Wawrinka in four sets in Melbourne. Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Nadal suffered upset losses in three of his ensuing five tournaments, including a defeat to David Ferrer at the Monte Carlo Masters. It was the first time since his debut in Monte Carlo in 2003 that Nadal didn't reach the final. Julian Finney/Getty Images
Nadal then won the Madrid Masters -- aided by an injury to his opponent Kei Nishikori -- and followed that up by claiming a record ninth French Open title in June. Dan Istitene/Getty Images
But his recent woes at Wimbledon continued. Nadal was upset again, this time by young Australian Nick Kyrgios. Al Bello/Getty Images
The U.S. Open houses the biggest regularly used tennis stadium in the world but Nadal didn't get an opportunity to play on Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2014 because he was sidelined with a wrist problem. Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
The health issues weren't over for Nadal. He played with appendicitis in the fall and lost to then 17-year-old Borna Coric in Basel. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
It was Nadal's last match of the year. He underwent appendix surgery in November and missed the World Tour Finals. JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Nadal hasn't been out of the public eye, though. He was named a Favorite Son of Mallorca -- where he hails from in Spain -- this month. JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images