Rafael Nadal ends his incredible streak that no one will ever match!


After 912 weeks, the 36-year-old Rafael Nadal left the top-10 on Monday! The Spaniard kicked off his top-10 journey in April 2005, enduring all the obstacles and staying in the elite company for almost 18 years. Thus, Nadal has set a record that will take some beating in the future. For example, Carlos Alcaraz has to stay in the top-10 until October 2039 to repeat the compatriot’s jaw-dropping feat! After dealing with injuries, 18-year-old Nadal made a fresh start at the beginning of 2005 and showed his rich potential. A teenager claimed 11 ATP titles, including a Major and four Masters 1000 trophies. Thus, he became world no. 2 behind Roger Federer and started his incredible top-10 streak that almost stayed alive for 18 years!

It was a bumpy ride for a 22-time Major winner, especially in 2015 and 2016, when he barely kept himself in the elite group due to injuries and the lack of form. However, Rafa survived and turned a page in 2017, performing an incredible comeback and returning to where he belonged. Nadal claimed the opening two Major titles in 2022, looking good to becoming world no. 1 at 36. Instead, he injured his abdominal muscle at Wimbledon, surviving a thriller against Taylor Fritz and withdrawing ahead of the semi-final duel with Nick Kyrgios. Rafa revealed a seven-millimeter tear and played only nine matches by the end of the season. 

Plagued with injuries, Rafael Nadal left the top-10 for the first time since 2005.

The Spaniard scored three wins at the US Open before losing to Frances Tiafoe. The pain was still there, and Rafa missed all the action ahead of the Paris Masters. Never enjoying indoor conditions, Nadal struggled to find the pace after a long break, losing four consecutive matches for the first time since 2009! The year-end no. 1 battle became the mission impossible, and Rafa embraced an off-season, hoping for a fresh start in 2023, similar to the one he had a year ago. Instead, he has played only four matches this year, losing three and sealing his fate in the top-10 after Indian Wells. Nadal won the opening set against Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur at the United Cup in Sydney. However, the Spaniard lost the pace in sets two and three to suffer losses after over two hours and 40 minutes. Not feeling at his best, Rafa gave everything while seeking the Australian Open title defense. He overpowered the young Briton Jack Draper at the event’s start and faced Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

The American proved too strong and scored a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph for a place in the third round. Rafa injured his left hip in the second set’s closing stages, refusing to retire and giving his 120% in the third. However, he suffered a late break to propel the rival over the top and drop almost 2000 ATP points. After further checks, Nadal revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas injury that forced him to miss Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami. Falling through the ATP list, Rafa dropped 600 ATP points on Monday and found himself outside the top-10 for the first time in almost 18 years! Nadal is back on the practice court, working hard on his game and hoping to play injury-free in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. 

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