Rafael Nadal at the 2019 US Open
Rafael Nadal on Wednesday completed 6,000 consecutive days in the top 10 of the ATP rankings. The Spaniard made his top-10 debut in April 2005, back when he was 18 years old, and he hasn’t left the coveted club since.
Nadal himself holds the record for most consecutive weeks spent in the top 10 of the men’s rankings. He has now extended that record to 836, which amounts to 16 consecutive years.
Rafael Nadal’s 16-year run in the top 10 means he is tied with Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi on the all-time leaderboard, and trails Roger Federer by two years.
The Spaniard has another couple of unique ranking records to his name too. Nadal has spent the most consecutive weeks as World No. 2 (160), and is the only player to have regained the year-end World No. 1 crown four times.
Moreover, while Novak Djokovic and Pete Sampras have managed a record six year-end World No. 1 finishes, Rafael Nadal is joint second with Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer on five.
Rafael Nadal likely to remain in top 10 until at least the start of 2022
Rafael Nadal poses with the 2019 year-end Wolrd No. 1 trophy
Rafael Nadal’s consecutive streak of 16 years in the top 10 is unmatched in men’s tennis history. And despite skipping much of the 2021 season, the 35-year-old is unlikely to fall out of the top 10 this year.
After a quarterfinal finish at this year’s Australian Open, Nadal returned only during the clay season as he was dealing with a back injury. He won titles in Barcelona and Rome, but a chronic foot injury resurfaced at the end of his defeat to Djokovic in the Roland Garros semifinals. That result, just his third loss at the French Open ever, snapped his 33-match winning streak in Paris.
Since then, Rafael Nadal has only played two matches – both in Washington – looking in considerable pain throughout. Just before the start of the US Open, the Spaniard called time on his season.
Rafael Nadal has now fallen to sixth in the ATP rankings, and over the next few weeks is defending points semifinal points at Indian Wells, Paris Masters and the ATP Finals. That said, he is as high as seventh in the year-to-date standings, which means at least four players will have to surpass his points total to knock him out of the top 10.
The likes of Felix Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz, Jannik Sinner and Casper Ruud are currently more than 2,000 points behind Rafael Nadal in the standings. They will all have to make sufficient gains over the next few months if they intend to end the Spaniard’s top 10 streak.