Rafael Nadal has proved numerous times on the tennis court that he is one of the greatest players the sport has ever witnessed. Nadal continued to be impressive in 2022 by winning his 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January. The Spaniard broke a three-way tie with Djokovic and Federer and set a new men’s singles record for most Grand Slam titles in tennis history. Moreover, Nadal won 20 games in a row this season. He won three tournaments at the Melbourne Summer Set, the Australian open, and Acapulco. However, the Spaniard suffered a rib stress injury in the Indian Wells semi-finals. This resulted in a final defeat at the hands of Taylor Fritz. The 35-year-old has been out of action month. But he is set to kick off his clay season at Madrid next week.
At the age of 18, Rafa announced himself in the tennis world after debuting in the top 10 on April 25, 2005. Nadal has reached another historical feat today as he has managed to stay in the top 10 of ATP rankings for 17 years in a row since 2005. The Spaniard slipped into the top 10 for the first time in 2005 after winning his first title at the Barcelona Open. He rose from no. 11 to no. 7 for the first time. Rafa has won 12-titles in Barcelona since, during a career that has been affected by regular injuries over the years. Rafael Nadal missed two Australian Opens, three Wimbledons, and four US Opens and still stayed in the top 10 all these years.
Currently, Nadal is ranked no. 4 and has held the record for the longest Top 10 streak in ATP rankings since November 2020. The Spaniard surpassed Jimmy Connors’ record of over 15 years to achieve the feat. Nadal also has the highest 866 weeks in the top 10 from 2005-present. Moreover, Jimmy Conners stayed in the top 10 for 789 weeks from 2002-to 2016. And Roger Federer recorded 741 weeks from 1980-to-1992. The above-mentioned weeks for Nadal excludes the 22 weeks when ATP rankings were frozen between March and August 2020 due to the pandemic.
Rafael Nadal Will Continue To Stay In the Top 10 In 2022
Nadal had a brilliant start to the year with a series of consecutive wins. Unfortunately, he suffered a rib injury just before the start of the clay season. After quite some time, Rafa is expected to make a comeback at Madrid next week. He has secured a tour-leading 3,350 points so far in 2022. And this year, the ranking points are already enough for Nadal to finish in the top 10 ATP rankings.
Staying in the top-10 for seventeen straight years is a marvelous achievement for the Spaniard. Interestingly, he broke into the top ten when Emma Raducanu was two-years-old, Carlos Alcaraz and Coco Gauff were one year old, Youtube was just two months old, and Twitter was not discovered back in 2005. Hopefully, Rafael Nadal will continue the amazing achievement in the coming years and bag more major titles under his name.