Rafael Nadal will commemorate his 900th consecutive week in the top 10 in only two and a half months! The Spaniard joined the top group in April 2005 after achieving remarkable success on his preferred clay and hard surfaces. Rafa has remained in the top-10 organization his entire career, persevering through his worst moments in 2015 and 2016 and maintaining his position steadily ever since.
Nadal celebrated his 1000th ATP victory in Paris in November 2020. After passing Jimmy Connors a week later, he broke still another enormous record by becoming the first player to spend 790 consecutive weeks in the top-10. Over 15 years have passed with Connors and Nadal remaining in the top group.
Rafa will now continue the record despite suffering injuries in 2021 for more than two years. In order to maintain his rapid ascent up the ATP ranking list, the 16-year-old Nadal played high-level tennis in 2003 while his ranking was barely outside the top 200.
Rafa entered the top 100 in April following 19 Challenger victories (the title in Barletta, three further finals, and the third-round showing in Monte Carlo). In the months that followed, he maintained a steady pace, earning a top-50 ranking in August.
Nadal won the first ATP title in Sopot in August and assisted Spain in winning the Davis Cup, building momentum for 2005 despite a serious injury that cut short his ascension in the spring of 2004.
Rafael Nadal surpassed all other players in 2020 by spending the most weeks in the top 10.
It turned out to be Nadal‘s first successful season on the Tour; he advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open before winning matches on clay at Costa do Sauipe and Acapulco.
The best was yet to come for a remarkable adolescent who was two points away from defeating Roger Federer in the Miami Open final. A few weeks later, Nadal recovered and won the inaugural Masters 1000 trophy in Monte Carlo.
Without any rest, Rafa traveled to Barcelona in search of more, where he beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the best-of-five final to win another championship and 300 ATP points, which helped him break into the top 10 for the first time in his career.
Rafa became the eighth-youngest player in the aforementioned group since the ATP ranking’s inception in 1973 at the age of 18 years and 10 months. Since accepting the top-10 position on April 25, 2005, Nadal has remained in the group, building a record of noteworthy or at the very least consistent seasons to surpass Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, and Roger Federer.
He finally overtook pack leader Jimmy Connors two years ago to top the charts and take the record. Rafa will end this season in the top ten for the 18th consecutive year, a feat that won’t be easily topped in the future.