A first in 18 years in the top 10

A first in 18 years in the top 10


After Roger Federer's retirement, another era draws to a close in men's tennis. On March 20, at the end of the Indian Wells Masters, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal will be excluded from the world top 10 for the first time in… 18 years.

Those 18 consecutive years in the top 10 on the planet is an unprecedented mark in men's tennis. Nadal's 912 weeks in the top flight put him far ahead of American Jimmy Connors, who had been there for 789 weeks, between 1973 and 1988. 

In fact, in April 2005 , when the man with 21 major titles broke into the top 10 there, the iPod nano hadn't even launched yet.

Only Navratilova beats him

Federer, he remained in the top 10 for 742 consecutive weeks, between 2002 and 2016. And all genders combined, only one athlete is ahead of Nadal in this prestigious longevity list: the American Martina Navratilova, who remained among the 10 best players for… 1000 weeks in a row, reports Tennis.com.

Nadal's exceptional feat of arms did not go unnoticed. After his semi-final defeat in Dubai, his biggest rival still active, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, underlined his great consistency, despite a career often slowed down by serious injuries. 

“I I have total respect for him, praised the world number 1, who, for his part, spent 555 consecutive weeks in the top 10 between 2007 and 2017. The fact of being able to be in the top 10 for almost 20 years is simply breathtaking. »

“It speaks to the quality of his tennis and his consistency throughout the year. He plays well on all surfaces”, added “Djoko”. 

A painful absence

Injured in the leg in his defeat in the second round of the Australian Open against the American Mackenzie MacDonald in January, “Rafa” still does not know when he will be able to resume competition. 

The Spaniard, currently eighth in the world, will drop to ninth place on Monday. He is already guaranteed to skip Indian Wells, which begins next week, as well as the Miami Masters at the end of the month. 

It is this first package who will hurt his ranking the most. A year ago, “Rafa”, then all fire, all flame at the start of the season, was aiming for a fourth consecutive title in California. Nadal reached the final, where he was beaten by American Taylor Fritz. end up, at best, 11th in the world.