One of the greatest streaks in sporting history ended on Monday

After 17 years, 10 months and 25 days, over a record total of 912 weeks (934 if you count the ATP Tour suspension in 2020), Rafael Nadal is no longer ranked in the ATP’s Top 10 Singles Rankings.

Nadal first entered the Top 10 at World No.7 on April 25, 2005, having just won the Barcelona Open as an 18-year-old (He went on to win it another 10 times), and that was so long ago that Novak Djokovic wasn’t even in the Top 150, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was still a good 3 weeks away from being released, and the first YouTube video (Me At The Zoo) was released on April 23, the same day Nadal defeated Radek Stepanek in the Semi-Final.

Now, thanks in part to the hip flexor injury he sustained at the Australian Open that has sidelined him ever since, Nadal finally departed the Top 10 on March 20, 2023, after he lost the 600 points for making the 2022 Indian Wells final, dropping him from No.9 to World No.13.

Those 912 weeks break down like this:

  • 209 weeks at No. 1
  • 387 weeks at No. 2
  • 90 weeks at No. 3
  • 70 weeks at No. 4
  • 81 weeks at No. 5
  • 30 weeks at No. 6
  • 15 weeks at No. 7
  • 8 weeks at No. 8
  • 14 weeks at No. 9
  • 8 weeks at No. 10

Obviously, the record of 22 major titles will probably be bested by Novak Djokovic this year or the next, but the run of 912 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 may genuinely be one of the most unbreakable records in men’s tennis history, alongside Rafa’s 14 titles at Roland Garros, the length of the Isner-Mahut match at Wimbledon 2010, and Martina Navratilova’s 1000 weeks in the WTA Top 10, which is the outright record for either gender…

Just to demonstrate that fact, Jimmy Connors is second on 789 consecutive weeks, and the only current players who could even come close to threatening Nadal’s record are Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is currently on 190 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 at the age of 24, and current World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz, who is approaching 52 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 at the age of 19…

He’d have to keep that up, relatively injury free, for another 17 years.

That’s how consistent Rafa’s run was.

Categories: Tennis

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