Rafael Nadal made it to the top-5 in ATP rankings for the first time in 2005. The 19-year-old won the Master 1000 tournament in Rome to become the sixth youngest top-5 player. It was Rafa’s second Masters 1000 title in two months. Nadal secured the decisive tie breaker to clinch the victory against Guillermo Coria after five hours and fifteen minutes.
During his long journey, Nadal has surprised everyone with his supremacy in the tennis world. The Spaniard has won the most 21 Grand Slam titles in the men’s singles category. Rafael will turn 36 in a few weeks. And he is still ranked inside the top-5, despite having a series of injuries over the years. Further, Nadal is the fourth oldest player to be in the top-5 since 1974. The other three players are Ken Rosewall, Roger Federer, and Rod Laver. The Spaniard has successfully managed to keep the intensity throughout his long career and won many notable titles. There is no doubt that Rafel Nadal is one of the best tennis players the world has ever witnessed.
Meanwhile, Rafa has reached another incredible milestone this week. He became only the second player in the history of ATP tournaments with 800 weeks in the top-5 rankings. Only Roger Federer is ahead of the Spaniard with 859 top-5 weeks.
Nadal Joins Federer With 800 Weeks In Top-5
Rafael Nadal announced his presence on the world stage by winning his first major title at the Roland Garros in June 2005. The Spaniard soon became one of the strongest links on tour behind Federer. Since then, Rafa has stayed in the top-5 for ten years and is working on transforming into a highly-talented opponent. However, Rafael had a bit of a rough patch between 2015 and 2016 due to a series of injuries and lack of form. It was the only instance when Nadal slipped from the top-5 rankings for about fifty weeks.
The Spanish giant returned to the top-5 after winning at the Monte Carlo Masters in April 2017. He remained at the top for another 200 weeks. Further, Rafa fought hard against Novak Djokovic for the ATP rankings’ first position in 2018-2019. Since then, Nadal has stayed in the top-5 and completed his 800 weeks this week. However, Rafael had another rough patch in 2021, when he was ranked no. 2. The Spaniard faced a couple of injuries and some inconsistent form, resulting in him falling out of the top-5 after the US Open.
Nadal only played two matches after the Roland Garros last year before being sidelined due to a foot injury for the rest of the season. Rafa made a strong comeback in 2022 by lifting his 21st Grand Slan title at the Australian Open in January. Nadal regained his top-5 position after the win in Melbourne with 20 wins in his first 20 matches before losing to Taylor Fritz at the Indian Wells. Rafa faced another rib injury and was out for six weeks. But, his early wins this year have allowed him to start his 800th week in the ATP top-5 rankings.