Rafael Nadal had a chance to become the second oldest number 1 in the world. 1 after the US Open. Rafa was the favorite for the ATP throne after New York after Daniil Medvedev’s early departure, but was unable to take advantage of that.
Nadal suffered a loss to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round, missing an opportunity to establish a more significant advantage over young guns Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz. Ruud and Alcaraz made no mistake, winning 12 matches and continuing the title fight on Sunday.
Casper and Carlos fight for the first Major trophy and ATP throne, with the winner becoming world No. 1. 1 on Monday. Alcaraz will overtake Nadal to become the top-ranked Spanish player for the first time in his career. This makes a teenager only the second player since 2005, after David Ferrer, to do so!
Rafa broke through 17 years ago and became the Spaniard to beat. Nadal clinched his first Major crown on his debut in Paris and added four Masters 1000 trophies to his tally to become world No. 1. 2 behind Roger Federer.
It took Nadal a few years to become the most successful Spanish player in history. He left his compatriots behind, urging them to work harder and follow his pace. Rafa has been the top-ranked Spanish player every week since 2005, but 38 in 2013 and 2015 when David Ferrer took charge and was Spain’s no.
1. On October 5, 2015, Ferrer was ranked number 1 in the world. 7 and was one place above Nadal, who overtook him the following week. Rafa has been the top-ranked Spaniard ever since and that will change next week for the first time in almost seven years!
Carlos is currently 130 points clear of Rafa and the gap will widen even further if the youngster takes the US Open crown on Sunday.
Rafael Nadal will fall behind Carlos Alcaraz in the ATP rankings.
Rafa missed the second half of 2021 due to a foot injury and made a perfect comeback this year.
At the start of the season he clinched three consecutive titles including his first Australian Open crown in 13 years! With a boost on his side, Nadal lifted the trophy in Acapulco and advanced to the Indian Wells final. He played it with a broken rib and lost to Taylor Fritz in straight sets.
Rafa missed Monte Carlo and Barcelona and didn’t play well in Madrid and Rome. Raising his level in the most significant scene, he secured his 14th Roland Garros title after defeating Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud.
Eager to continue that run at Wimbledon, Nadal reached their third consecutive All England Club semi-final before withdrawing due to a stomach injury ahead of the Nick Kyrgios clash. Rafa skipped Montreal and played a match in Cincinnati ahead of the US Open, which wasn’t enough to give him form or the pace behind the initial shot.
On the other hand, Alcaraz has won two Masters 1000 events and two ATP 500 crowns in 2022. He lost back-to-back finals in Umag and Hamburg before the North American swing, but there is nothing wrong with his game in New York.
Carlos is the youngest Major finalist since Rafa at Roland Garros in 2005 and has a chance to become the youngest World No. 1. 1 since the ATP ranking began in 1973!