Rafael Nadal's Historic Feat: Leaving Roger Federer Behind in the Top-10 Race
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 963
With 912 consecutive top-10 weeks, Rafael Nadal established the record that may stay in his hands for good! Rafa left his closest rivals far behind, with Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer remaining below 800 straight weeks in the elite company.
Nadal's streak ended two months ago, struggling with injuries and finishing his incredible top-10 journey after almost 18 years in the exclusive group. The Spaniard needed 14 years to pass Federer's 734 consecutive top-10 weeks, achieving that in May 2019!
Rafa had a stellar run in 2003, cracking the top-50 at a young age and repeating a similar run in 2004 after his first ATP title. Nadal set his eyes on big targets in 2005, showing his incredible skills and becoming world no.
2 at 19! Rafa lost to Roger in a thrilling Miami Open final and bounced back on clay. The Spaniard conquered Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome ahead of Roland Garros, where he debuted as the favorite.
Rafael Nadal passed Roger Federer's consecutive top-10 weeks in May 2019.
Nadal cracked the top-10 at the end of April, becoming the eighth-youngest player in the top-10 since the start of the ATP ranking in 1973.
He joined Krickstein, Chang, Becker, Borg, Wilander, Agassi and Medvedev on the list of players who achieved that before his 19th birthday. Entering the top-10 on April 25, 2005, Nadal stayed in that group for almost 18 years, passing one rival after another and setting the ultimate record.
As we already said, Rafa left Roger behind in May 2019. Roger was a top-10 player between October 2002 and October 2016, dropping out for a few weeks after an injury but returning in January 2017 for another strong run. Nadal was among the players to beat for ten seasons, always staying near the top before slowing down following the 2014 Roland Garros.
The Spaniard endured a challenging period in 2015 and 2016, struggling with injuries and lacking form against the rivals from the top. However, he did enough to stay in the top-10 before an impressive comeback in 2017. Nadal secured his first year-end no.
1 honor in four years, becoming a Major contender again and moving closer to Federer's record. Rafa's 20th Major crown came in October 2020 at Roland Garros, with no notable trophies in the following season. Nadal's last push came in 2022, winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros and leaving Federer and Djokovic behind with 22 Major crowns on his tally.
Rafa has played only 13 matches since the last August, dealing with injuries and announcing his farewell tour in 2024.