Rafael Nadal had the opportunity to become the second oldest world number. 1 after the US Open. Rafa was the favorite to take the ATP throne after New York following Daniil Medvedev’s early exit, but he couldn’t take advantage of that.
Nadal suffered the fourth-round loss to Frances Tiafoe and missed the opportunity to build a more significant lead over youngsters Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz. Ruud and Alcaraz were not wrong, they won 12 games and scored the duel for the title on Sunday.
Casper and Carlos will fight for the first Major trophy and the ATP throne, with the winner becoming world no. 1 on Monday. Alcaraz will overtake Nadal and become the top-ranked Spanish player for the first time in Nadal’s career. Thus, a teenager will become the second player to do so since 2005 after David Ferrer!
Rafa had a great career 17 years ago and became the Spaniard to beat. Nadal lifted his first Major crown on his debut in Paris and added four Masters 1000 trophies to his tally to become world number one. 2 behind Roger Federer.
Nadal needed a couple of years to become the most successful Spanish player in history. He outpaced his compatriots, pushing them to work harder and keep up with him. Since 2005, Rafa has been the highest-ranked Spanish player every week except 38 in 2013 and 2015, when David Ferrer took over and stood out as the Spanish number one.
1. On October 5, 2015, Ferrer was world no. 7 and moved up one spot above Nadal, who overtook him the following week. Rafa has been the top-ranked Spaniard ever since, and he’ll switch next week for the first time in nearly seven years!
Carlos is currently 130 points ahead of Rafa, and the gap will be even more significant if the youngster wins the US Open crown on Sunday.
Rafael Nadal will fall behind Carlos Alcaraz in the ATP ranking list.
Rafa skipped the second part of 2021 due to a foot injury and had a perfect comeback this year.
He claimed three consecutive titles at the start of the season, including his first Australian Open crown in 13 years! With a boost from his side, Nadal lifted the trophy in Acapulco and reached the Indian Wells final. He played it with a fractured rib and lost to Taylor Fritz in straight sets.
Rafa missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona and did not play well in Madrid and Rome. He leveled him up on the most significant stage and secured his 14th Roland Garros title after beating Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud.
Eager to continue that streak at Wimbledon, Nadal reached the All England Club’s third consecutive semi-final before retiring ahead of the clash with Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal injury. Rafa skipped Montreal and played a match in Cincinnati before the US Open, which was not enough to give him shape or rhythm behind the initial shot.
On the other hand, Alcaraz won two Masters 1000 events and two ATP 500 crowns in 2022. He lost consecutive finals in Umag and Hamburg before the North American tour, but there is nothing wrong with his game in New York. .
Carlos is the youngest Major finalist since Rafa at Roland Garros 2005 and will have a chance to become world no. 1 since the beginning of the ATP ranking in 1973!