To reach the top-100 on the ATP ranking list is an exceptional achievement that requires skills, determination and a lot of hard work over the year. To stay in that group for more than 15 years, you have to be at your best almost all the time, making a smart schedule and avoiding serious injuries that is anything but easy in modern tennis.
On the latest ATP ranking list, there are six players with at least 700 consecutive weeks in the top-100, with three of those counting to mind-blowing 800. After Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco has become the newest player on that exclusive table, celebrating his 800th consecutive week in the elite group this Monday.
The 35-year-old Spaniard is through to the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time in six years (playing at the All England Club for the 17th year in a row), adding more points to his tally and cementing his position in the top-40, looking good to wrap up the season in the top-100 for the 16th consecutive time!
Verdasco is also playing the 65th Grand Slam tournament in a row, making a debut here at Wimbledon in 2003 and never missing any after that, avoiding injuries and being able to compete on the biggest tennis stage year after year.
Fernando is one of four players in the Open era who had played at least 400 ATP tournaments in a career, making an ATP debut in Estoril 17 years ago and performing at 13 events in the following 2003 when he turned 20. After that, the Madrid native embraced packed calendar year after year to find himself on this exclusive list with Fabrice Santoro, Feliciano Lopez and Mikhail Youzhny who had played 418 ATP tournaments.
Between 2004-18, Verdasco competed in at least 20 ATP events, counting to 28 in 2008 and 2018 and never missing the action for a more extended period due to injuries. Playing almost 950 matches on the Tour, Verdasco booked the spot in the top-100 in March 2004 and stayed there ever since, overcoming a tough period at the beginning of 2016 to extend the streak and join two legends of our sport.
A left-hander with a booming forehand is ready to stay on the Tour as much as possible, feeling confident and competitive and without any retirement plans what so ever.