Rafael Nadal's incredible top-10 streak to end after Taylor Fritz advances at Mexican Open

Rafael Nadal (right) will move out of the top 10 for the first time in nearly 18 years.
Rafael Nadal (right) will move out of the top 10 for the first time in nearly 18 years.

Rafael Nadal is widely regarded as one of the best players to have graced the sport, holding a plethora of impressive records.

However, one such record - the longest consecutive stint in the top 10 - is about to come to an end after nearly 18 years. Having been a top-10 player since April 25, 2005, the 22-time Grand Slam winner will now leave the top 10 on March 21, a day after Indian Wells ends.

Plagued by injuries since Wimbledon last year, Nadal injured his hip during his second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January. The early ouster meant that the Spaniard dropped a whopping 1,955 points, having arrived at the tournament as the defending champion.

With the Spaniard not recovering enough to compete at the first Masters 1000 event of the year in Indian Wells next week, he's set to drop 600 points, having made the final in 2022. That, along with Taylor Fritz reaching the Acapulco last four, means Nadal will drop out of the top 10 in the week starting March 21.

The Spaniard's 912 consecutive weeks (on March 14) inside the top 10 will be 124 weeks better than the next best player - American Jimmy Connors.

However, the Spaniard can hope for a swift return to the upper echelon of the men's game, as he's not defending too many points before Roland Garros. He missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona last year and endured early exits in Madrid (quarterfinals) and Rome (third round).

Rafael Nadal's exhibition match in Las Vegas canceled

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal was scheduled to play an exhibition match in Las Vegas on Sunday (March 5) with his younger compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.

However, the same has now been canceled, as reported by ESPN, with both players currently injured. While Nadal hasn't yet fully recovered from his hip injury - forcing him out of Indian Wells - Alcaraz pulled out of this week's Mexican Open due to a right hamstring injury.

The 19-year-old sustained the injury in the Rio Open final against Cameron Norrie last week, a match he lost, which ended his perfect 8-0 start to the season.

While Alcaraz's participation in Indian Wells has not been confirmed, Nadal is definitely out of the Masters 1000 event and the next one in Miami later this month.

Interestingly, Alcaraz and Nadal were the top two singles players at the end of the 2022 season, with the former becoming the first teenager to end the year as World No. 1.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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