Mon. May 29th, 2023

Rafael Nadel looks disappointed during a match. — Twitter/@PLAYBET

For the first time since 2005, Rafael Nadal, who has been the Grand Slam champion 22 times, slipped out of the ATP top 10 on Monday after not being able to feature in the Indian Wells tournament.

Nadal was forced to skip the Masters 1000 event in California — where he played the final last year — due to a hip injury, which also led to his Australia Open exit in the second round in January.

After losing 600 points from Indian Wells, Nadal dropped four places to 13th in the rankings — ending his record 912-week stay inside the top 10.

However, Nadal can make a comeback at the Monte Carlo Masters next month ahead of the French Open, which he has won 14 times over the course of his illustrious career.

World number four Casper Ruud, who was defeated by Nadal in the Roland Garros final last year, said he would not be shocked to see the ‘King of Clay’ lift the trophy once again.

“It wouldn’t surprise me because he’ll probably use these weeks and these months, as he’s preparing for exactly Roland Garros,” Ruud told Eurosport as part of the ‘Ruud Talk’ series.

“It doesn’t matter if he loses in Monte Carlo or Rome or Madrid. The only thing that’s probably on his mind these days is just to be fit, be healthy and be ready for Roland Garros.”

ATP top 20

1. Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 7,420 pts (+1)

2. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 7,160 (-1)

3. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 5,770

4. Casper Ruud (NOR) 5,560

5. Daniil Medvedev 4,330 (+1)

6. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 3,415 (+4)

7. Andrey Rublev 3,390

8. Holger Rune (DEN) 3,325

9. Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 3,065 (+2)

10. Taylor Fritz (USA) 2,975 (-5)

11. Jannik Sinner (ITA) 2,925 (+2)

12. Cameron Norrie (GBR) 2,815

13. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2,715 (-4)

14. Frances Tiafoe (USA) 2,710 (+2)

15. Alexander Zverev (GER) 2,580 (-1)

16. Karen Khachanov 2,505 (-1)

17. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 2,230

18. Alex de Minaur (AUS) 2,085

19. Tommy Paul (USA) 2,045

20. Borna Coric (CRO) 1,905

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