By Courtney Nguyen
March 29, 2013

Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal is popular on Twitter despite his limited activity. (Sang Tan/AP)

Rafael Nadal has become the first tennis player to exceed four million Twitter followers, making him one of the 200 or so most-followed accounts on the social-media service.

That's impressive work, given that he began tweeting only a year and a half ago, averages fewer than two messages per day, writes many of them in Spanish and was off the radar while sidelined for seven months after Wimbledon last year. His total is 400,000 more than that of Serena Williams, who is No. 2 among tennis players.

Here's the breakdown on Nadal's Twitter reach:

Here's Rafa's first tweet, sent on Aug. 2, 2011:

His four million Twitter followers complement a huge profile on Facebook, where he has 11.5 million fans. Taken as a whole, Nadal has the biggest following on all English social media. Roger Federer, who is not on Twitter, ranks second thanks to 12.5 million Facebook fans. On the women's side, Maria Sharapova leads the pack with 9.7 million Facebook fans and a slow-growing Twitter following of nearly 170,000.

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