Rafael Nadal’s 18-year streak to end – Incredible facts on the last time he was out of the top 10
Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the Indian Wells Open means he is set to drop out of the top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time since 2005.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner has not played since he lost against Mackenzie McDonald in the third round of the Australian Open as he is recovering from a hip injury he sustained at the tournament.
Nadal slumped to No 8 in the ATP Rankings on Monday – his lowest position since January 2017 – and he is in danger of dropping out of the top 10 this week if those below him pick up enough points at the Dubai Tennis Championships and Mexican Open this week.
However, unless the likes of Felix Auger-Aliassime, Holger Rune, Hubert Hurkacz, Cameron Norrie and Jannik Sinner enjoy nightmare results at the Indian Wells Open, he will crash out of the top 10 come March 20 as he will drop 600 points as he finished runner-up to Taylor Fritz last year.
And even if the impossible does happen in California, the chances of him still being in the top 10 after the Miami Open are virtually zero.
It will eventually mark the end of his 18-year streak as he entered the top 10 on April 25, 2005 on the back of winning the Barcelona Open as an 18-year-old.
Top 10 ATP Rankings on April 18, 2005
1. Roger Federer Switzerland
2. Lleyton Hewitt Australia
3. Marat Safin Russia
4. Andy Roddick United States
5. Guillermo Coria Argentina
6. Tim Henman Great Britain
7. Carlos Moya Spain
8. Gaston Gaudio Argentina
9. David Nalbandian Argentina
10. Andre Agassi United States
Nadal is currently on 910 consecutive weeks inside the top 10 after surpassing Jimmy Connors’ record of 789 weeks back in 2020. The only tennis player ahead of him on that particular list is Martina Navratilova as she spent an incredible 1,000 weeks inside the top 10.
Facts about things that happened in tennis before Nadal made his top-10 debut:
* Roger Federer was on four Grand Slams in April 2005 and, of course, he went on to win another 16 majors with all of them coming while Nadal was in the top 10.
* Serena Williams was a seven-time Grand Slam winner as she notched up No 7 at the Australian Open at the start of 2005. Williams finished her career with 23 majors.
* Novak Djokovic had only just made maiden Grand Slam appearance as he qualified for the 2005 Australian Open, but lost to eventual champion Marat Safin in the first round. Both Djokovic and Nadal have gone on to win 22 majors.
* Andy Murray made is professional debut in Barcelona a week before Nadal entered the top 10 at No 7.
* Andre Agassi was still playing competitively and was still in the top 10. The American great eventually retired after the 2006 US Open.
* Carlos Alcaraz was only two years old the last time Nadal was not in the top 10 as the rising star was born in May 2003. If this doesn’t make you feel old, then nothing well.
Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev have all gone on be world No 1 since April 2005.
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