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Rafael Nadal completes record 17 straight seasons in the year-end top 10

Rafael Nadal at the 2021 French Open
Rafael Nadal at the 2021 French Open
Rohan Pai
CONTRIBUTOR

Finishing the year as World No. 6 even after being forced out of the second half of the season due to injury tells us why Rafael Nadal is considered one of the greatest ever to play the sport.

The Spaniard has now featured in the year-end top 10 for the 17th consecutive season, after playing just 11 tournaments this year. Eight out of the top 10 players have participated in more than 20 ATP tournaments this season, and the only other player alongside Nadal to have played less than 20 tournaments this year is World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Nadal currently holds the record for the highest number of weeks spent in the ATP top 10, completing his 844th consecutive week on November 21 when the ATP Finals concluded. Roger Federer is third on this list having completed 734 consecutive weeks in the top 10, with Novak Djokovic far behind at 555 weeks and in sixth place.

Rafael Nadal17 straight seasons in the year-end top 10Quite an achievement, even more so for a man whose had to fight so many injuries through the years#getty https://t.co/BVAhJQoaQF

Injury constraints and age mean Nadal may not have too many seasons left on tour. The 20-time Grand Slam winner will be looking to deliver a big result in the upcoming Australian Open to retain his position in the top 10.

Taking Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, and Alexander Zverev's recent form into consideration, it looks difficult for Nadal going ahead. But the 35-year-old has shown time and again in his long-spanning career that even after encountering multiple injuries, he is capable of coming back and securing the big points to extend his lead for another 52 weeks.

Rafael Nadal all set to make a comeback next season

Rafael Nadal at the 2021 Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal at the 2021 Roland Garros

Nadal hasn't played since the Washington Open in August, where he lost to Lloyd Harris due to a chronic foot injury flaring up. However, after receiving treatment over the past few months, the 35-year-old was seen training at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, preparing for his upcoming contest at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi.

The exhibition tournament will also feature Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, and Casper Ruud in the men's draw and Emma Raducanu and Belinda Bencic in the one-off women's match.

The Rafa Nadal Academy recently hosted the 12 & Under Festival which featured 48 players from the Junior tour coming from across 23 European nations. Players and fans were elated to see the 20-time Grand Slam winner at the academy and clicked pictures with their idol.

Well done Isabella on winning her first 2 matches in the TEN-PRO event at the Rafa Nadal Academy this week 👏👏And here she is with the great man himself (and sister Sofia). Keep up the good work! ❤️🎾@HeadingtonSch @HSO_Sports https://t.co/DJUET56JhU
Conocí a @RafaelNadal el Rey de toda la Historia de Tierra !!!! El sueño hecho realidad 🙏.Fui a @rnadalacademy planeado a ver si hay suerte....Al llegar a su pabellón de entrenamiento indoor,,a los 10 minutos por fin apareció!!!Rafa fue muy amable por su parte incluso me firmo! https://t.co/Bhf6OGCZ9D

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
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