Rafael Nadal dropped out of top-10 in the ATP rankings for the first time in 18 years.
The Spaniard kicked off his top-10 journey in April 2005, enduring all the obstacles and staying in the elite company for a record 912 weeks.
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The 36-year-old Nadal is battling time and injuries for the past few months and has dropped to No 13 in the rankings.
Le 24 avril 2005, Rafael Nadal, 18 ans, dominait Juan Carlos Ferrero (6-1, 7-6, 6-3) en finale à Barcelone. Le lendemain, il fêtait sa première apparition dans le top 10 mondial (7e). Il n'en sortira plus jusqu'à… ce lundi. Presque 18 ans de suite, une statistique hallucinante. pic.twitter.com/mmnKWXQlGb
— Quentin Moynet (@QuentinMoynet) March 19, 2023
Nadal has spent a total of 209 weeks at the top of the world rankings and was the year-end No 1 for five seasons — 2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019.
After an incredible start to 2022, when he won the first two Grand Slams of the year — Australian Open and French Open — Nadal has been struggling for fitness and form.
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He had to withdraw from Wimbledon due to an abdominal injury and went down to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round of US Open.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion began his season at the United Cup before losing in the second round of the Australian Open to American Mackenzie McDonald.
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He later informed his fans that he had suffered a, ‘grade 2 injury in the iliopsoas muscle in my left leg,’ in Melbourne.
Nadal withdrew from the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Masters.
“It’s been a while since I don’t communicate with you,” he wrote on social media in late February.
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“Took my time off, started rehab, gym and physiotherapy as instructed by the doctors. Getting ready to come back the in the best conditions.
“I am sad that I won’t be able to compete at Indian Wells nor Miami. Very sad not to be there. I’ll miss all my US fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing.”
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Last year, Nadal reached the final at Indian Wells, the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the season.