It was the beginning of the now very distant 2005 and an 18-years-old Rafael Nadal was classified just outside the Top-50 of the ATP ranking, mainly hampered by injuries and determined however in the new season to show his real potential.
Rafa then reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open and picked up the victory in Costa do Sauipe and Acapulco, on his beloved land. In Miami he reached the final and was two points from victory but then lost to his rival who would later become Roger Federer.
On April 4th Rafael Nadal entered the Top-20 for the first time and then achieved the great successes that led him to victory in clay tournaments and above all to his first Grand Slam at Roland Garros. Since April 4th 2005 Rafael Nadal has never left the Top-20, thus entering the record books.
In addition to being the king of the clay, Rafa has gradually improved his game also on hard and grass which were fundamental to reach his incredible record of 20 Grand Slam titles.
800 weeks in the Top 20 for Rafael Nadal
This week Rafael Nadal, current world number 2 in the world, reached 800 weeks in ATP Top-20 ranking.
If Rafa remains in the Top 20 for another 14 months, Nadal will join Jimmy Connors in this special ranking with the famous American who was in the Top 20 for 860 consecutive weeks between 1973 and 1990. At the top of this particular ranking and with the record still in play is Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer.
Also this season Rafa showed his immense talent: the Majorcan tennis player won only one title but at Roland Garros, a success that allowed him to reach 20 Slam career points. Rafa has reached Federer and in 2021 he will aim to overcome him perhaps at the Australian Open where the Swiss will not be there, still struggling with physical problems, and Nadal will have the chance to become the first tennis player in history with 21 Grand Slam titles.
The greatests tennis stars on the planet, like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and all the others, will come back for the upcoming Australian Open 2021, which will be held in Melbourne from 8 February: it will be the most awaited sports event of the first part of the new season.
It will be a very spectacualr season, and all of us hope without the problems of the last one, with some presence of the crowd in the courts across the world. Roger Federer, after he said he will not play the Australian Slam, should come back on the court, for the joy of his fans, at the end of February or at the beginning of March.