Since the US Open 2022, Rafael Nadal has accumulated a balance of 5 defeats and just 2 victories, obtained in the group stage of the Nitto ATP Finals against the Norwegian Casper Ruud, and at the first round of the Australian Open 2023 against the British Jack Draper.
It is a prolonged period that is undoubtedly not positive what the Spaniard is facing, who as defending champion was already eliminated in the second round of the first Grand Slam of the 2023 season. The Spaniard had to fight again with a less than top physical condition, finding faced an opponent who took advantage of his physical problems to do the feat in the Rod Laver Arena.
The beginning of the year for the Majorcan was completely different from 2022, in which he simply made the difference in all the hard-court tournaments played. During the first week of racing, starting on Wednesday, it is certain that there will be a new champion in Melbourne, given that the 36-year-old, from seeded number one, was unable this time to outdo his physical problems.
Rafael Nadal's wife in tears: bad sign for the future
A situation that perhaps reopens some scenarios and could allow other tennis players to aspire to the final trophy. But it's not just that. There are other situations that worry Spanish fans.
We know that Rafa said he would like to continue, but according to some Spanish insiders and some tennis players, Nadal could retire at Roland Garros 2022. At the end of the match, the tears of his wife Maria Francisca Perellò in front of her husband's injury can be interpreted as a sign of concern and displeasure, but they could also be a deeper signal.
As if the professional horizon of the 22-time Grand Slam champion could be really too close. In addition to the five setbacks remedied in the last seven matches played on the ATP Tour, Rafa will have to face some important news, certainly negative.
In fact, the winner of 22 Grand Slam titles will have significant changes regarding his position in the world rankings, given the almost 2000 points he will soon lose. According to the current ranking projections, the Spaniard will slip to 3815 and will certainly be overtaken by the Norwegian Casper Ruud, his rival Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and also the Russian Andrey Rublev.
With Carlos Alcaraz still on top at the moment, it is safe to say that Nadal will drop out of the top 5. Rafa currently occupies sixth place but could lose further ground if players like Felix Auger-Aliassime or Taylor Fritz continue their adventure in the competition.