Rafael Nadal's longevity record



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Rafael Nadal's longevity record

It was April 18, 2005 when the almost 19-year-old Rafael Nadal reached the 11th position in the world ranking, becoming one of the youngest in the history of tennis to achieve this milestone. But who were the top 10 of that period that preceded it? The leaderboard spoke like this: Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Andy Roddick, Guillermo Coria, Tim Henman, Carlos Moya (his current manager), Gaston Gaudio, David Nalbandian and Andre Agassi.

The players who came closest to the Manacor bull, as far as personal data is concerned, were Roddick who was 22, followed by Nalbandian, Coria and Federer (the only one still present in the circuit) who were 23. On the other hand, the most successful of those present in the top 10 at the time, namely Agassi, was 34 years old, almost double the age of the Spaniard.

The Majorcan, however, was about to overturn this ranking by placing first in tenth place the week after and then finishing the year in second position, after a season on clay that consecrated him to the whole world by winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona, ​​Rome and his first of the thirteen Roland Garros.

Among other things in his career Nadal is ahead, in head-to-head matches, against all the tennis players who were above him in the standings on April 18, 2005. The only one who at least managed to even the score was Gaudio: the score in fact speaks of 3-3.

Against the others, the head to head reads like this: 24-16 against Federer, 7-4 against Hewitt, 2-0 against Safin, 7-3 against Roddick, 4-1 against Coria, 2-0 against Henman, 6-2 against Moya, 5-2 against Nalbandian and 2-0 against Agassi.

Against these ten, among other things, the almost 36-year-old Spaniard took home 19 titles, 14 of which won against Roger. Since 25 April 2005, Nadal has been permanently in the top ten. After nearly 17 years, exactly 6,153 days, the current Australian Open winner has yet to come out of the top 10.

He only took the risk in his worst year of his career, 2015, when at the end of the season he took home only two 250 tournaments at the Argentina Open and in Stuttgart and a 500 in Hamburg against Fabio Fognini. In the slams he did badly because the best result he got was the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and Roland Garros.

After a 2016, certainly better than the year before but still not at his level and with yet another injury in his career, we all know how it went. From 2017 onwards, Rafa Nadal has put on the showcase the beauty of 21 trophies divided into 7 slams, 8 masters 1000, 5 Atp 500 and 1 250 obtained a few weeks ago at the Melbourne Summer Set that preceded the historic triumph at the Australian Open.