Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal has passed another extraordinary landmark in his illustrious tennis career. This week the 20-time Grand Slam champion reached 6,000 consecutive days inside the top 10 in the men’s ATP world rankings. The 35-year-old has now been a top 10 tennis player for a staggering 836 weeks!
To put this achievement into perspective, Nadal broke into the top 10 on 25th April 2005. At the time Novak Djokovic had only just made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open earlier that year. The Spaniard is comfortably the longest reigning top 10 player in history with Jimmy Connors (789 weeks) & Roger Federer (734 weeks) second & third respectively.
Nadal burst onto the ATP Tour in 2002 and secured his place in the top 10 by winning the Barcelona Open. He had bulldozed his way to No 2 in the rankings by 2005 but a certain Roger Federer denied him the top spot for 160 consecutive weeks. It was only after Nadal beat Federer in their epic Wimbledon Final in 2008, a match many tennis fans regard as the greatest ever played, that the Spaniard was crowned world No 1.
Nadal has struggled with injuries during 2021 so has not racked up too many points compared to previous years. He is however still ranked No 6 in the world and is unlikely to drop out of the top 10 anytime soon. He has stated his intention to come back strong in 2022 and is likely to be eyeing the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open in January.