The Final Weeks: Rafael Nadal's Farewell Tour in the Top-15

Rafael Nadal cracked the top-15 in April 2005, never leaving the exclusive group

by Jovica Ilic
The Final Weeks: Rafael Nadal's Farewell Tour in the Top-15

Rafael Nadal has not played since the Australian Open, with a hip injury forcing a legend to plan his retirement in 2024! While leaving the top-10 in March for the first time in almost 18 years, Nadal is still ranked inside the top-15, keeping his incredible streak alive for three more weeks!

Rafa cracked the top-15 in April 2005, staying in the mentioned group ever since and finally saying goodbye to it after Roland Garros. Nadal will not defend the crown in Paris, dropping 2000 ATP points and moving out from the top-100 for the first time in two decades!

The Spaniard is 35 ATP points ahead of Borna Coric, securing a few more top-15 weeks before leaving the group, probably forever. Nadal has been dealing with injuries and setbacks for years, but he looked good to become world no.

1 at 36 a year ago! The veteran led the ATP Race after Roland Garros, winning the season's first two Majors and hoping for more at Wimbledon and the US Open. Instead, he experienced an abdominal injury in London and withdrew ahead of the semi-final.

Rafa revealed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear and left the tournament without facing Nick Kyrgios. It remains Nadal's last notable tournament ten months later!

Rafael Nadal has been inside the top-15 since April 2005.

The Spaniard scored three wins at the US Open before losing to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round, feeling the pain and staying away from the court for two months.

Nadal could not find the rhythm in November after an extended break, losing four consecutive matches for the first time since 2009! Rafa embraced an off-season, hoping for a fresh start in 2023. Instead, he has played only four encounters this year, losing three and sealing his fate in the top-10 after Indian Wells!

Not feeling at his best, Rafa gave everything while seeking the Australian Open title defense. He overpowered the young Briton Jack Draper in the first round and faced Mackenzie McDonald in the second. The American scored a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph and delivered the Spaniard's earliest loss at Majors since 2016.

Rafa injured his left hip in the second set's closing stages, refusing to retire and giving his 120% in the third. However, he suffered a late break to propel the rival over the top and drop almost 2000 ATP points. After further checks, Nadal revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas injury that will ruin the finishing stages of his incredible career.

Rafael Nadal