It was the longest uninterrupted reign in the top 10 of the ATP rankings in tennis history. When Rafael Nadal made his debut in the top 10, current ATP leader Carlos Alcaraz was less than 2 years old and Novak Djokovic had just played his first Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open. Now, due to injury, Rafael Nadal drops out of the top 10 in the rankings after 17 years, 10 months and 23 days.
Rafael Nadal made his ATP Top 10 debut as an 18-year-old on April 25, 2005. The Spaniard broke into the top 10 after winning the tournament in Barcelona. Since then, the Spaniard has been continuously present in the top ten, taking the leading position several times. Now, after almost 18 years, the Spaniard drops to 13th position.
Rafael Nadal spent a total of 912 weeks in the top 10. When he debuted in the TOP 10, he was only 18 years old. There was no Twitter at the time, the first video had just appeared on YouTube, the current leader of the ranking was less than two years old, and Novak Djokovic had just made his debut at the Australian Open. In short, when Rafael Nadal moved up to the TOP 10, the world looked completely different.
Rafael Nadal has not dropped out of the top 10 even when he had to withdraw from Roland Garros, where he triumphed 14 times, or when he withdrew from the Olympics, and even when he had to undergo foot surgery. The day of Nadal’s fall out of the TOP 10 came after 17 years, 10 months and 23 days. All because of injury, which is not surprising to Nadal’s fans, because he is one of the tennis players most often struggling with injuries.
Nadal suffered the injury at the Australian Open in January. As a result, he lost the chance to defend the title from 2022 and the points scored then, and since the injury turned out to be serious, the Spaniard lost further points for each absence in the next tournaments. What decided Nadal’s “to be or not to be” in the TOP 10 was his participation in Indian Wells. To stay in the TOP 10, the Spaniard had to defend the 600 points he scored for his participation in last year’s Indian Wells final. Unfortunately, prolonged hip rehabilitation forced Nadal to withdraw from the tournament. As a result, the Spaniard lost the aforementioned 600 points and his place in the top ten of the ranking.
Do you think the Spaniard will return to the TOP 10?