Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of the Balearic Islands, or UIB, in recognition of his athletic achievements and the values he has upheld during his career, the higher education institution said.

Nadal, who was born and makes his home in Manacor, a town on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, has shown a commitment to excellence, making him "one of the greatest athletes of all time," UIB said in a statement.

Nadal and his family have been contacted about the honor, the university said.

The tennis star and his family were happy to learn that he had been selected to receive the highest honor that the university in "his land" can grant an individual, UIB said.

The 27-year-old Nadal, a 13-time Grand Slam champion, has won a record eight French Open titles.

Nadal, who lost in the final of this year's first Grand Slam tournament to Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, is preparing to defend his title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

The Spaniard won the 2013 title at Indian Wells with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro to capture his third Indian Wells title.

Nadal, known for his physically demanding style of play and outstanding defensive skills, has struggled to stay healthy during his career, having been forced to withdraw from each of the four Grand Slam events due to various injuries. EFE