Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been in a constant state of conflict for more than 16 years! With 59 matches on the Tour since 2006, the Spaniard and Serb have won nearly identical numbers of ATP titles, Masters 1000 medals, and Majors.
On Monday, Nadal and Djokovic both had 672 top-3 weeks, sharing second place with Roger Federer, who currently holds the record with 750. After winning his first Major championship at the 2005 Roland Garros, Nadal climbed into the top 3.
Rafa accomplished that just a few days after turning 19, and more than 17 years later, he is still a member of the group! In 2022, Nadal will be the second-strongest link on the men’s Tour, trailing only his fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz. Rafa won two Major championships this year and doesn’t have any points to defend for the remainder of the season.
Nadal will likely finish the year in the top three and pass Djokovic on that list.
The third player with 672 top-3 weeks is Rafael Nadal.
After a stellar start to his career, Rafa maintained his position in the top three from 2005 until 2012.
After joining the organization, the Spaniard struggled with ailments and eventually quit. Prior to having additional problems in 2015 and 2016, he made a significant push in 2013 but just just managed to stay in the top 10. In 2017, Nadal was back to his best, winning four more Parisian titles in the preceding five years and restoring his hegemony at Roland Garros!
Rafa only participated in 29 games in 2021, which caused him to lose some distance to his top competitors. After losing to Djokovic in the Roland Garros semifinal, he only participated in two matches before wrapping up the season in August and refocusing on 2022.
Following an incredible comeback against Daniil Medvedev in the championship match, Rafa made an impeccable return to capture his second Australian Open title in January. The Indian Wells final was the Spaniard’s first defeat of the year; he fractured a rib and was out until May.
In Madrid and Rome, Rafa was far from at his best; he was still experiencing foot pain and was unable to muster his best performance. Nadal overcame all seven challenges in Paris while receiving injections before every match to win the 14th Roland Garros trophy and his 22nd Major!
Rafa injured his abdomen and had to quit prior to the Wimbledon semifinal, revealing a seven-millimeter rip. Prior to the US Open, Nadal only participated in one match and was unable to compete for the fifth New York title after falling to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round.
Rafa, who participated in the doubles match at the Laver Cup with Roger Federer, is putting a lot of effort into getting ready to play again in Turin and Paris.