Rafael Nadal breaks new ground, celebrates incredible achievement!

Rafael Nadal is the first player with 20 million followers on Instagram

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal breaks new ground, celebrates incredible achievement!
© Daniel Pockett / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal has not played since January, struggling with injuries and planning to end his career in 2024. The Spaniard is still among the most recognized athletes, reaching an incredible feat. Rafa became the first tennis player with 20 million followers on Instagram, achieving that before Serena Williams, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic.

Nadal is currently ranked outside the top-200 for the first time since February 2003, hoping to recover by the next season and compete at his favorite events one more time. A 22-time Major winner made a great start to the previous season, conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros despite setbacks and standing alone on 22 Major crowns.

However, he experienced another injury at Wimbledon, hurting his abdominal muscle and withdrawing ahead of the semi-final duel against Nick Kyrgios. It was Nadal's last great run so far, playing only a couple of tournaments since last summer and collecting a few wins.

Rafael Nadal has reached 20 million Instagram followers!

From the ATP Race leader and world no. 1 contender, Rafa lost the ground and fell in the US Open fourth round, still feeling the pain and struggling to serve. Rafa has played only 13 matches since last August, never finding the rhythm and witnessing more blows.

The Spaniard wrapped up the official season with a victory at the ATP Finals, beating Casper Ruud and embracing the South American swing with the Norwegian. Instead of a fresh start in 2023, Nadal could not find his A-game in the opening weeks.

He experienced two losses at the United Cup despite taking the opening set, falling to Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur. The defending Australian Open champion gave his everything to play competitive tennis in Melbourne, beating Jack Draper in the first round and facing Mackenzie McDonald in the second.

Rafa experienced a severe hip injury in the second set, refusing to retire but hitting the exit door. The Spaniard revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas that should have kept him away from the court for two months. Instead, a 22-time Major champion is yet to recover, losing ground and experiencing the worst period of his incredible career.

Rafa underwent surgery, eager to make one last push and end his remarkable career at his favorite tournaments in 2024, including the Olympic Games in Paris.

Rafael Nadal