When Rafael Nadal joined Roger Federer in 'Club 800'



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When Rafael Nadal joined Roger Federer in 'Club 800'

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are the only players with 800 weeks in the top-5, keeping the record ahead of Novak Djokovic. Federer and Nadal are among the oldest players in that group, entering at early stages of their careers and remaining there for a couple of decades!

Nadal celebrated his 800th top-5 week in May last year, joining Federer in the exclusive group. The Spaniard made a top-5 debut after winning the 2005 Rome Masters 1000 event, still at 19. It was Nadal's second Masters 1000 crown within two months, earning it following an epic victory over Guillermo Coria in the decisive tie break after five hours and 15 minutes.

Rafa became the sixth-youngest top-5 player since the start of the ATP ranking and the first to achieve that before turning 19 since Michael Chang in 1989!

Rafael Nadal became the second player with 800 top-5 weeks after Roger Federer.

Nadal cemented his position with the first Major crown at Roland Garros in June, becoming the second-strongest link on the Tour behind Roger Federer.

The great Spaniard stayed in the top-5 for the next ten years, improving his game regularly and becoming one of the most accomplished competitors of all time. After losing ground a bit in 2015 and 2016 due to injuries and lack of form, Nadal had to leave the elite top-5 group for a year.

He returned in April 2017 following the Monte Carlo title and embraced another streak with over 200 consecutive weeks in the top-5. Nadal battled with Novak Djokovic for the ATP throne in 2018 and 2019, improving his run and moving closer to the magical number of 800.

Rafa started the 2021 season ranked 2nd but could not follow his pace from the previous years. After several injuries and ups and downs, Nadal failed to keep the ranking position from the beginning of the year, falling out from the top-5 after the US Open.

Also, the Spaniard played only two matches after Roland Garros, struggling with a foot injury and skipping the last part of the season. Nadal made a perfect return in 2022, winning the Australian Open and embracing 20 consecutive victories.

It was enough to push Rafa toward his 800th top-5 week in May, joining Roger and setting eyes on his record. The Spaniard is 23 weeks behind the Swiss but will have to seek another opportunity to close the gap after dropping out from the top-5 following the Australian Open failure.