Rafael Nadal turned 36 a month ago. A few days later, the Spaniard claimed his 22nd title in a major tournament, conquering Roland Garros for the 14th time and hoping to repeat the same at Wimbledon. After overcoming an abdominal injury, Rafa recorded five wins in London before retiring ahead of the semi-final matchup against Nick Kyrgios.
In this edition of Wimbledon there were no points, and the players could not defend what they won 12 months ago. Nadal did not play at Wimbledon in 2021 due to a foot injury, taking advantage of Novak Djokovic's strange situation to earn a spot on the ranking list.
Novak defended the Wimbledon crown, losing 2,000 points and dropping four places on the list, dropping from third to seventh. Thus, Rafa went from fourth to third and entered the top-3 despite having played only eight tournaments in the previous 12 months.
At 36 years and one month, Nadal is the fourth oldest player in the top three since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973. Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver were in the top-3 in 1975 at 40 and 36 years old, respectively. Roger Federer joined the Australian legends in 2020, remaining in the top-3 until February and being second on the list at 38 years and six months.
Rafa has entered the list as the fourth 36-year-old on this exclusive list, struggling with injuries but still claiming two Grand Slam titles this year. The Spaniard entered the top-3 after his first major title at Roland Garros in 2005, and he is still among the best players in the world 17 years later.
King Roger on dealing with fame and fortune
Roger Federer shed light on the challenges of dealing with fame and fortune. "How can I be myself? That has been the greatest test of my character. How do I deal with people who ask me what it's like to be rich, or what I'm going to do with my prize money? How do I deal with the travel, with the celebrity and the fortune?" he expressed.
"It's easy when you're sitting on the couch at home. There are many celebrities on this planet, I am not the only one. Not the only good tennis player either. It's nothing out of the ordinary for me, but it does get harder when you're out and about.
The press also portrays a certain image and sometimes you have to meet impossible expectations. They want you to be the superhero," continued the Swiss player.