Rafael Nadal left the top ten for the first time in 18 years

The Spanish, in the last Australian Open (REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo)

It took 912 weeks for Rafael Nadal will leave the top ten of the ranking ATP. This Monday, the Spanish, 36 years old, appeared on step No. 13 of the list, dropping a historical mark. 18 years have passed since she rose to number 7 in 2005 to not leave the tennis elite until today. A fact that speaks of the legacy that he will leave when he decides to hang up the racket.

Physical problems are the ones that have diminished his prominence: he has not played since January 18, when he lost in three sets to the American Mackenzie MacDonald in the second round of the Australian Open. It was immediately confirmed that he suffered a grade 2 injury to the iliopsoas of the left leg. Beyond the different ailments that have been afflicting him, there is one that is chronic with which he has learned to live in order to continue competing: Müller-Weiss syndrome, a degenerative lesion on his left foot.

Since he did not play the Indian Wells Masters 1000 in which he defended the final, the lost points and the combination with the rise of other rising tennis players (such as Jannik Sinner or Cameron Norrie) gave way to the fall. However, Rafa does not seem to have given up. In fact, he is waiting for his reappearance in Monte Carlo (from April 8 to 16) in order to regain confidence, good feelings and lost ground.

The Spaniard is one of the two legs of the Big Three that continues to battle along with Novak Djokovic, after the retirement of Roger Federer. Nadal and the Serbian share the top of the list of most winning players in Grand Slam, with 22 conquests. Behind comes the Swiss, with 20. Rafa holds 14 titles at Roland Garros, 4 US Open, 2 Wimbledon and 2 Australian Open.

The brand new ATP ranking shows as the leader Carlos Alcaraz, who this Sunday beat Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 and won the crown in Indian Wells. At just 19 years old, he looms as the successor to the monsters that have dominated the world of tennis in recent years. Behind is Djokovic, 260 points away. Much further back, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas completes the podium. Fourth is the Norwegian Casper Ruud; fifth, the aforementioned Medvedev. Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime took sixth place. In seventh place is the Russian Andrey Rublev; in the eighth, the Danish Holger Rune. In ninth place the Polish Hubert Hurkacz, and American Taylor Fritz closes the top ten.

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