Rafael Nadal Creates History by Defeating World Number Ones on the ATP Tour

Published 05/17/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts in his Men’s Singles semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland during Day eleven of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)


Over the years, avid tennis followers have seen Rafael Nadal set unbreakable records. After being on Tour for close to two decades, the Spaniard has developed a habit of breaking his own records and rewriting history. His contribution to the sport has been one of a kind.

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Yesterday, after winning his 1oth title at the Masters tournament played at the Italian capital in Rome, Rafael Nadal achieved another incredible statistic. He topped the charts for beating the World No. 1 player for the most number of times. In his career so far, Nadal has beaten the World No. 1 player at that time on 22 occasions!

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Rafael Nadal strengthens his position on top

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Amongst the active players, only Novak Djokovic (14) is close to that record. Former German tennis legend Boris Becker is on 14, followed by Ivan Lendl on 14 too. At the moment, Rafael Nadal sits comfortably on the top spot and it will require some taking from the others to get close to this feat.

In the clay-swing of the tennis season so far, Nadal has had a successful run. Although he lost during the early stages in Monte Carlo and Madrid, he did lift the title in Barcelona and Rome.

He resumed his season after a stint away from the Tour after the Australian Open 2020. During the Australian Open, he played well in the early rounds but lost in the semifinal to Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic thriller.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The Spaniard is tipped as the favorite to win the French Open 2021

As we approach closer towards the second Grand Slam event of the season, it will be interesting to who goes deep into the tournament. Naturally, the twenty-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal will be the favorite to add to his tally and lift the Roland Garros trophy for the 14th time in his career.

Besides Rafa, other competitors like Novak Djokovic will look to capitalize in the other half of the draw. In women’s, players like Simona Halep and World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will look to increase their tally at the French capital. It will be interesting how things play out this year.

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DIVE DEEPER

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about 1 month ago

🇪🇸 Rafael Nadal has defeated 22 times the current ATP No.1#IBI21 pic.twitter.com/hPCHjtzNIO

— TennisMyLife (@TennisMyLife68) May 16, 2021

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Rohan Kollare

734 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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