Rafa Nadal, out of the Top 10 for the first time since 2005
The Spanish maestro’s streak among the best 10 players in the world has come to an end following his absence at Indian Wells.
It looked like a neverending love story with the ATP rankings, but Rafa Nadal’s romance with the top spots has come to an end almost 18 years later.
The Spaniard is out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time since 2005, dropping to No. 13 following the update of the rankings after missing Indian Wells, which was won by fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz.
The 22-time Grand Slam tournament winner spent 912 weeks inside the top 10, a men’s record and behind only Martina Navratilova, who spent 1,000 consecutive weeks among the top 10 players.
Nadal, who won’t play the Miami Masters either, broke into the top 10 for the first time in April 2005, after conquering the Barcelona Open at the age of 18.
Dealing with injuries once again
Injuries have proven to be Nadal’s hardest opponent, as they have been the main reason for his ‘miraculous’ streak to come to an end.
He was defeated in the second round of the Australian Open by Mackenzie McDonald in three sets when he was defending champion. In that game, Nadal got injured in his hip during a ball exchange with the American.
Since then, the 14-time Roland Garros champion hasn’t featured in any tournament, losing 600 points in Indian Wells after making it to last year’s final.
However, Nadal was very aware of the possible scenario of not being able to participate in the two ATP Masters 1000 played on American soil.
“I prefer to be in the top 10, it’s obvious, but in the end, one has to accept things as they come”, he said.
“With all the injuries I’ve had over the last 18 years, not having left the top 10 on any occasion is practically a miracle”, Nadal added.
Rafa is expected to return for the Monte Carlo Masters, which will welcome the clay season, starting on April 8.
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