Rafael Nadal broke into the top-10 in April 2005 at age 18, winning Barcelona’s ATP 500 a day earlier and securing a place in the elite group. Rafa has never left the top-10 since, forging one of the most outstanding records in tennis history and embracing over 900 consecutive weeks in the top 10!
However, the 36-year-old Spaniard will most likely drop out of the top-10 for the first time in 18 years in March, having to defend his 600-point win from last year’s Indian Wells final. Rafa occupies 7th place in the live ATP ranking after losing 500 points from Acapulco.
With 600 fewer points in his tally, he will drop out of the top-10 after Indian Wells and put an end to his incredible run. Nadal injured his left hip in Melbourne, losing nearly 2,000 points and sealing his top-10 fate. The Spaniard withdrew from Doha and Dubai and remains away from the training tracks ahead of the first Masters 1000 of the season.
Rafa will decide on Indian Wells after further testing, although it is unlikely that he will be able to challenge for the title in the desert after so much trouble since last July. The 22-time Major winner has only played 13 matches since Wimbledon, with a record of five wins and eight losses.
Rafa suffered an early defeat at the US Open and lost four straight matches for the first time since 2009! Things did not improve in the United Cup at the start of the new season, with Nadal losing both matches set in set.
Rafa arrived in Melbourne unformed, struggling with one injury for months and experiencing another at Rod Laver Arena against McDonald. The American beat the Spaniard in straight sets and handed him Rafa’s earliest Major defeat since 2016.
The American produced five breaks from eight chances and dropped serve twice to emerge on top. He got off to a flying start and smashed the defending champion in opening games one and five 4-1 in less than 20 minutes.
Berrettini comments on Nadal
Rafael Nadal fascinates for his performances on the court but not only.
During an interview given to Corriere Dello Sport, Matteo Berrettini spoke with a touch of humor about the determination and dynamism shown daily by the man with 22 Grand Slam titles. “Pure energy, a bull. When he walks into a room, you feel the energy he exudes.
And when he tells you about something he did, whether he went fishing or golfed, it sounds like he’s telling you about the Punic Wars. He is at six thousand, pure energy,” observed the Italian.
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