Rafael Nadal won and had a record-breaking year. At the Australian Open, he won his 21st Grand Slam championship. In addition, he broke a tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. It aims to create a new record for the most Grand Slam championships won by a male player in tennis history. Yesterday, he reaches another remarkable achievement. For the past 17 years, Nadal has remained in the Top 10 in the ATP rankings. On April 25th, 2005, he debuted in the Top 10 as an 18-year-old. And after winning the first of his 12 career titles in Barcelona, he went from 11 to 7. Despite his many injuries, he has missed two Australian Opens, three Wimbledons, and four US Opens over the years. He’s never been out of the Top 10 since, not even for a week.
Nadal, 35 years old, is now rated No. 4 in the tennis world. Since November 2020, he broke Jimmy Connors’ previous record of over 15 years. Nadal has held the record for the longest Top 10 run in ATP rankings.
IN ATP HISTORY, THE MOST CONSECUTIVE WEEKS IN THE TOP 10 (including this week):
ATP Rankings History
866 weeks: Rafael Nadal (2005-present)
789 weeks: Jimmy Connors (1973-1988)
741 weeks: Roger Federer (2002-2016)
619 weeks: Ivan Lendl (1980-1992)
565 weeks: Pete Sampras (1990-2001)
The preceding chart does not include Rafael Nadal’s 22 weeks on the ATP rankings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were frozen between March and August 2020. In 2022, he will have done everything. Nadal’s Top 10 streak is also showing no signs of ending very soon. He began the year with a perfect 20-0 record. In the Melbourne Summer Set, he also won his first three events (ATP 250). Acapulco, as well as the Australian Open (Grand Slam) (ATP 500). Then he reached the final of the Indian Wells Masters (Masters 1000) before losing his first match of the year against Taylor Fritz of the United States.
So far in 2022, Rafael Nadal won and has a tour-leading 3,350 ranking points. It’s enough to see him finish in the Top 10 at the end of the year for the past seven years. And he hasn’t even started playing on his preferred surface. While he is scheduled to return to Madrid next week after a rib injury layoff. Not that he hasn’t been nearly this year on hard courts. But, back to the statistic at hand: Nadal’s 17 years in the Top 10 in a row. Also, to put into perspective how long that is. It’s worth mentioning that Emma Raducanu was two years old when his streak began. When Carlos Alcaraz and Coco Gauff were one year old, YouTube had only been around for two months, and Twitter have yet invented.
Image Credit: www.tennisworldusa.org
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