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At 27 years old, World No. 3 Rafael Nadal has clocked in an impressive 12 Grand Slam titles, a record-breaking Career Grand Slam, and an Olympic gold medal. The “King of Clay” also just clinched the 2013 Rogers Cup, a big warning to his rivals Djokovic and Murray that he’ll be bringing some major game to the U.S. Open this year. While he missed the tournament in 2012 due to knee issues, the sexy Spaniard reached the finals in 2011 and totally dominated in 2010. We fully expect him to bring back those impressive skills this time around, especially since the seriously strong athlete knows how to keep it cool under pressure.
“The thing, when you're down two sets to love, is to stay calm, even though it's hard, because people are freaking out, people are worried for you,” he says. “You just try to play tough and focus point for point. Sounds so boring, but it's the right thing to do out there.”
From rising stars like Victoria Azarenka to familiar fan favorites like Serena Williams, here are 12 superstar athletes set to dominate on the court this year
From rising stars to returning champs, here are 12 superstar athletes you should know before the first match on Monday.