Jannik Sinner's spectacular streak, consummated after his resounding victory over Casper Ruud in the 2021 ATP Vienna quarterfinals, has left someone who we have not seen since the Washington tournament out of the top-8 of the ATP Race.
Indeed: Rafael Nadal is not among the eight best players of the season. The Italian surpassed him and removed him from the positions that give access to the ATP Finals, and although we know that Rafa was not going to contest them, this has given rise to a statistic that shows the harsh reality that the Manacorí faces at the moment.
The last time Rafa Nadal was not among the eight best of the year and, therefore, did not qualify for the Masters tournament... it was back in 2004. Almost two decades of regularity beyond injuries and discomfort that, in an atypical year for him, come to an end.
Not even in the worst seasons of him he did not make merits to qualify (in 2016, for example, he was # 8 in the Race with many difficulties). Will it mean something in the medium term?
Nadal practices yoga
Rafael Nadal is regarded as one of the most mentally stable players in tennis history; he hasn't broken a racket his entire career, which is extremely rare.
Nadal has frequently claimed that the credit for that goes to his uncle Toni. "I like to compete, but I always control myself on the track," Rafael Nadal said. "I have never lost my nerves or broken a racket. I've never behaved like crazy.
My philosophy is never to give up in sports. It happens to me the same when I play golf or soccer with my friends." He believes it is important to have "positive feelings" during a match, even if things are not going your way.
"When you're on court, it's important to control your emotions," Nadal said. "In my case, I practice yoga and meditation to be able to control my emotions when I am playing. You always have to enter the court with positive feelings.
It is important to maintain confidence, even when conditions are not ideal." First and foremost, Nadal has competed in fewer tournaments this year compared to other players. Even then, he held his place in the Top 8 for the ATP Finals for a very long time.
On the other side, the 20-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner has risen to perfection on the men’s circuit. Incredibly, he has already won four ATP titles this season and entered the Top 10 Rankings for the first time. And now, he has replaced his idol Nadal in the Race of ATP Finals.