Rafael Nadal is a proud owner of 36 Masters 1000 titles, claiming the first in Monte Carlo 2005 and staying competitive for almost two decades. The Spaniard leads the charts with 99 Masters 1000 quarter-finals, hoping to achieve the 100th in Madrid or Rome in May after many setbacks.
Nadal reached his 90th Masters 1000 quarter-final in Rome 2019, looking good to celebrate the milestone 100th at some point in 2020. However, Rafa has reached only seven quarter-finals in the past four seasons, standing at 99 and waiting a bit longer to become the first player to achieve a milestone.
Nadal’s first Masters 1000 quarter-final came in Miami 2005 at 18. It could have come earlier, but the Spaniard struggled with injuries in 2004 and did not play at his best. Everything worked well for Rafa at the start of 2005, and he reached his first Masters 1000 final in Florida, standing two points from beating Roger Federer.
Nadal would reach four more quarter-finals by the end of the season. He conquered all those tournaments and finished with incredible four Masters 1000 trophies! Rafa added five more quarter-finals in 2006 and counted eight in 2007 and 2008!
Rafael Nadal seeks his 100th Masters 1000 quarter-final.
Nadal was already among the finest Masters 1000 players by 22, and things would only become greater after reaching all nine quarter-finals in 2009! Nadal had notable runs in 2010 and 2011 before slowing down a bit in 2012, with four quarter-finals on his tally.
Rafa made an incredible comeback in 2013 and claimed four consecutive Masters 1000 titles. The upcoming three seasons could have been better for the grand champion, who struggled with injuries and barely stayed inside the top-10.
Nadal collected seven quarter-finals in 2017 and grabbed six in 2019 to move closer to a milestone. As we already said, Rafa has notched seven quarter-finals since 2020, with the 99th and latest coming in Madrid last year. The Spaniard had three chances to secure the 100th by the end of the previous season, although he missed it in Rome, Cincinnati and Paris.
Rafa had eight consecutive Paris Masters quarter-finals, hoping for another in his comeback tournament at the end of the previous season. Instead, he fell to Tommy Paul in three sets in the second round. The Spaniard competed for the first time in almost two months and built a set and a break lead.
However, Paul bounced back and scored a 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 triumph in two and a half hours. Rafa is yet to play the Masters 1000 events in 2023, missing Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo due to a hip injury and hoping to compete again in Madrid and Rome in the upcoming weeks.