Rafael Nadal experiences major ranking blow!

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Rafael Nadal experiences major ranking blow!
Rafael Nadal experiences major ranking blow! © Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal is not a top-200 player for the first time since February 2003! A 22-time Major champion is world no. 239 this week, losing 100 positions on the ATP ranking list after dropping last year's US Open points. Nadal stayed in the top-200 for over two decades, spending most of that time in the top-10 before losing ground due to injuries.

Rafa is working on his comeback at home in Mallorca, hoping to compete again in 2024 and end his glorious career on his terms. The Spaniard had a great run in 2002, showing his skills on the pro level despite turning 16 in June!

Nadal lifted six Futures titles and cracked the top-200 in December, preparing for an even stronger run in 2003. Rafa started the season at the Hamburg Challenger, playing his last tournament as a player ranked outside the top-200.

The youngster reached the final and booked a place in the mentioned group at the beginning of February, never leaving until this Monday.

Rafael Nadal is ranked outside the top-200 for the first time in 20 years!

Nadal last played in January, struggling with injuries and taking a year off.

Rafa made a great start to the previous season, conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros despite setbacks and standing as world no. 1 contender in the following months. However, he experienced another injury at Wimbledon, hurting his abdominal muscle and withdrawing ahead of the semi-final duel against Nick Kyrgios.

It remains Nadal's last great run, playing only a couple of tournaments and collecting a few wins. From the ATP Race leader, Rafa lost the ground and lost his form due to physical issues. The Spaniard entered the US Open, having a nice chance to conquer the ATP throne.

Instead, he failed to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round, still feeling the abdominal pain. Rafa has played only 13 matches since last August, never finding the rhythm and witnessing more blows that will likely end his career earlier than expected.

The Spaniard wrapped up the previous 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 lost both matches 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. Rafa experienced a severe left hip injury in the second set, refusing to retire but hitting the exit door after losing serve late in the third set.

The Spaniard revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas, undergoing surgery a couple of months later and missing the rest of the season. Nadal has only 255 ATP points on the latest ranking list, with 210 dropping by the end of the year.

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