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Rafael Nadal has dropped to No. 8 in the ATP world rankings this week, and his record streak inside the top 10 could soon come to an end too. Nadal, 36, has not played since the 2023 Australian Open, and he looks set to miss Indian Wells and the Miami Open as he recovers from injury. Nadal has not dropped out of the top 10 since first breaking in as an 18-year-old in 2005.

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On the day that Novak Djokovic broke Steffi Graf’s all-time record for most weeks as world No. 1, Rafael Nadal’s hopes of breaking a long-standing record set by Martina Navratilova look a little slimmer.
Nadal has dropped to No. 8 in the rankings this week, which is his lowest position since January 2017.
Nadal, 36, has not played since the Australian Open as he recovers from injury, and he has dropped 500 points from his ranking as he isn’t returning to defend his Mexican Open title
He is currently on 3,315 points and has been overtaken in the rankings by Daniil Medvedev after he beat Andy Murray to win the Qatar Open.
Rafael Nadal
More significantly than dropping to No. 8, Nadal is close to falling out of the top 10 for the first time since 2005.
Nadal has never left the top 10 since first breaking into it with victory at the Barcelona Open as an 18-year-old. In 2020, he broke Jimmy Connors’ record of 789 consecutive weeks inside the top 10 and his current mark stands at 910 weeks.
The only person to have spent more successive weeks in the top 10 is Martina Navratilova, with exactly 1,000.

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That record now looks unlikely for Nadal unless he returns for the first ATP 1000 of the season at Indian Wells, which starts on March 8.
Nadal’s chances of playing the tournament look slim after he pulled out of an exhibition event in Las Vegas against Carlos Alcaraz planned for March 5.

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Rafael Nadal

“I am very sad for not being able to come to Vegas and play in this amazing event with Carlos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena,” said Nadal in a statement. “Unfortunately, the timing of my recovery doesn’t make it possible to be there ready to play.”
If Nadal does not play Indian Wells then he will drop 600 points from his ranking after he made the final last year. He is currently just 250 points above 11th-placed Hubert Hurkacz in the rankings.
Hurkacz has just 90 points to defend from making the last 16 at Indian Wells last year, as does world No. 12 Jannik Sinner, who is 660 points behind Nadal.
Nadal will not take a further ranking hit until May when he has points to defend in Madrid and Rome (270 combined). He will then have 2,000 points to defend as French Open champion.
The last time Nadal was ranked this low in January 2017 he rebounded by making the Australian Open final, winning the French Open and US Open, and finishing the year as world No. 1.


Around this time last year, when he won Indian Wells, Taylor Fritz spoke about wanting to break into the top 10 in the rankings.
When he did that in October he said his next goal was top five and the “end goal” was to get to No. 1 in the world.
Rafael Nadal
The first of those two goals has been achieved as Fritz has become the first American man since Andy Roddick in 2009 to reach the top five.
Fritz has moved up after he won the Delray Beach Open last week and Nadal and Andrey Rublev both dropped 500 points from their rankings.
Fritz is 300 points ahead of sixth-placed Rublev, with both playing ATP 500 events this week – Fritz in Acapulco and Rublev in Dubai.

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Fritz will have his work cut out to stay in the top five next month as he is defending champion at Indian Wells, which carries 1,000 points.
Speaking last year about getting into the top 10, Fritz said: “I definitely have had the confidence all year that I feel like just my regular level, my regular game, is top-10 material.
“I worked really hard, for a really long time, to get to this point. I’ve had a really good year. And now I set my next goal — top five — and we go from there.
“The end goal is to try to be No. 1 in the world. I’m definitely not satisfied.
“I absolutely feel like I belong. I think that I’ve proved that I belong in the top 10 and I belong here. I just need to keep working hard.”
The 2023 Australian Open was live and the French Open will follow on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.com

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