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TENNIS

Rafael Nadal’s record top-10 streak in jeopardy

Tennis maestro Rafa Nadal has dropped in the ATP rankings after not competing again since the Australian Open due to an injury.

Update:
Tennis maestro Rafa Nadal has dropped in the ATP rankings after not competing again since the Australian Open due to an injury.

While Novak Djokovic is living a sweet start to the week after breaking Steffi Graff’s record for most weeks as world No 1., his fiercest rival isn’t experiencing the best moment of his career.

Although it’s almost unthinkable, Rafa Nadal could see his presence among the Top 10 best players in the world come to an end soon due to a leg injury that has kept him out of the courts since the Australian Open.

The tennis great, currently No. 8, has dropped 500 points from his ranking, as he won’t defend his Mexican Open title in Acapulco.

Nadal, who hasn’t been in such a low position since January 2017, has been overtaken in the rankings by Daniil Medvedev after conquering the Qatar Open. He is currently just 250 points above 11th-placed Hubert Hurkacz.

Moreover, the 22-Grand Slam tournament winner will unlikely return for Indian Wells after pulling out of an exhibition match planned for March 5 with Carlos Alcaraz.

If he doesn’t feature in the first ATP 1000 of the calendar he will drop another 600 points after he made it to the final last year, losing to Taylor Fritz.

Can Nadal break Martina Navratilova’s record?

Nadal has never left the top 10 since 2005. The Spaniard first broke into it with a win over Juan Carlos Ferrero in the Barcelona Open final as an 18-year-old.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion, who broke Jimmy Connors’ record of 789 consecutive weeks inside the top 10 in 2020, has now been 910 weeks among the top 10 best tennis players in the world.

Nadal, 36, has accomplished everything in the sport, but there’s a record he would probably want to break too. That’s none other than Martina Navratilova’s 1,000 weeks in the Top 10, a milestone that Rafa will want to equal or surpass, although it seems a pretty difficult challenge as things stand now.

ATP Rankings

  1. Novak Djokovic: 6,980 points
  2. Carlos Alcaraz: 6,780 points
  3. Stefanos Tsitsipas: 5,805 points
  4. Casper Ruud: 5,515 points
  5. Taylor Fritz: 3,660 points
  6. Andrey Rublev: 3,405 points
  7. Daniil Medvedev: 3,320 points
  8. Rafael Nadal: 3,315 points
  9. Felix Auger-Aliassime: 3,245 points
  10. Holger Rune: 3,161 points