Rafael Nadal won’t be playing in America for the next few weeks
“I’m very sad that I can’t compete in Indian Wells and Miami”. With these few words, accompanied by a clip showing him doing a rehab exercise at the gym, Rafael Nadal announced his package deal for the “Sunshine Double”, the two US Masters 1000 in the spring, last night. No small feat as last year the super champion from Mallorca reached the final of the tournament in California (beaten by Taylor Fritz after a very tough semi-final against Alcaraz). He will therefore not be able to defend his accumulated 600 points and almost certainly – some unlikely joints would be necessary – he will drop out of the top 10 in the world rankings.
Nadal’s exit from the tennis elite is a historical fact: in fact, on the distant April 25, 2005, uncle Toni’s student reached the top ten in the world for the first time (he was No. 7, improving four places from eleventh place) and … he never fell out of the top 10! Nadal currently counts 910 weeks of continuous attendance, almost 18 years old, all-time record since the ranking is calculated by computer. He very much risked breaking that streak between June and July 2015 when he was number 10 for 7 weeks.
I’m sad that I can’t compete in Indian Wells or Miami.
Very sad not to be there. I will miss all my US fans but hope to see them again later this year during Summer Swing. pic.twitter.com/v6dsf1ayTI
– Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) February 28, 2023
Among active tennis players, the second longest streak is that of Djokovic with “only” 220 weeks (he came out of the best time in his two difficult years due to elbow problems, in 2017 and 2018).
Here are the all-time record holders for consecutive weeks in the top 10:
1st – Nadal – 910 weeks (will definitely go to 912)
2nd – Connors – 788 weeks
3. – Federer – 734
So, after the Indian Wells 1000, a “geological” era of tennis should come to an end, with a record streak that will go down in the archives and will be really hard to beat given that Nadal entered the top 10 at a very young age (he still had not 19 years old) and remained there without interruption up to the current 36 and 9 months. ironman!