DOB: 27 August 1978 (33)
Turned Pro: 1995
Highest Rank: 1 (1999)
Current Rank: Retired
Plays: Right handed, doubled handed backhand
Career Prize Money: $13, 443, 970
Carlos Moya grew up in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and started playing tennis at the age of 4. Moya burst on to the tennis seen in 1995 and quickly became the first Spanish world number one. Moya, who is naturally left handed but plays right handed, the opposite of the player he would mentor, Rafael Nadal, is currently dating Spanish actress Carolina Cerezuela. At the 2010 Australian Open the couple became aware that they were expecting their first child, which is due at the end of August.
In 1997 Carlos was runner up to Pete Sampras in the Australian Open and then went on to hit peak form in 1998. After winning Monte Carlo he went on to defeat Alex Corretja in straight sets to claim his first and only Grand Slam title at the French Open. Also in 1998 he made the semi finals of the US Open and was runner up at the end of year Tennis Masters, losing in five sets to Corretja.
Moya continued this run of form into 1999 where he was runner up in Indian Wells, giving him just enough ranking points to secure the number one ranking for two weeks. However, at the 1999 US Open he withdrew with a back injury which later turned out to be a stress fracture in his spine. He was able to play only two more tournaments that year and the injury affected him into 2000 where Moya struggled to stay inside the top 50.
After he recovered from the stress fracture Moya was never quite the same player although he did produce some great results, although most of his success came on clay.
In 2004 Moya was crucial to the Davis Cup victory Spain achieved over USA. In 2005 when he claimed the Chennai title he donated his $52,000 prize money to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Despite his injury issues Moya managed to stay within the top ten (for the most part) between 2002 and 2005.
Moya’s next significant results came in 2007. Moya was runner up at the Medibank International, a semifinalist at the Hamburg Masters and a quarter finalist at the French Open where he lost to Rafael Nadal. Moya spent considerable time with Nadal as a junior acting as his mentor and giving him tips for how to survive the ATP circuit as well as giving him a high level hitting partner to look up to. While the two remain close friends Moya has revealed that when Nadal was young he asked the young Spaniard if he wanted a career similar to himself. Apparently Rafa apologized before saying he wanted a better one. Both Nadal and Moya are frequently seen socializing with one another and occasionally play doubles together.
2009 was a disappointing year for the former world number one. Nadal had taken over from Roger Federer as world number one, becoming only the third Spanish player to claim the number one spot, but for Moya things were looking bleak. He had some dismal results in the few tournaments he played before announcing an indefinite hiatus from tennis to recover from hamstring origin tendinitis and a foot injury that he sustained from overloading the foot trying to protect the hamstring.
Moya had surgery on his foot but remained driven to return to the circuit, still passionate about tennis. However his 2010 return was short lived. He made it to the second round of Indian Wells before he had to withdraw with another foot injury.
Moya has not played since Madrid in May and has not made it passed the second round at any tournament this year. As a result he has continued to slide down the rankings, falling to 641 in March 2010, his lowest ranking since he turned pro in 1995.
UPDATE: In August 2010 Carlos’ partner Carolina Cerezuela gave birth to their daughter Carla.