Remembering Rafael Nadal’s Iconic Rise to World No.1 Ranking For the First Time

Published 08/18/2020, 2:35 PM EDT


Today is a special day for the 19-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal, as it marks the twelfth anniversary of Nadal achieving the coveted World No.1 ranking.

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The Spaniard became World No.2 in 2005 and kept trailing his arch-rival in ATP rankings until August 2008. The year 2008 was possibly Rafael Nadal’s greatest season as he managed to win Roland Garros for the fourth consecutive time. Nadal’s crowning moment was winning his maiden Wimbledon title by defeating Roger Federer in the epic final to establish his supremacy on the men’s tour.

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Rafael Nadal’s spectacular run continued when he became the first Spanish tennis player to win an Olympic Gold medal in singles. After lifting the Toronto masters later that year, Nadal achieved his dream of becoming the World No.1 for the first time in his career. 

The Rafael Nadal Academy has tweeted about this historic moment, the video shows the trophy Nadal received from ATP after clinching the World No.1 ranking.

Rafael Nadal carved his name on the Golden Plate

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The golden plate on the front captures all the historic dates when players achieved the World No.1 ranking, while the trophy is displayed in the Rafael Nadal museum in his academy.

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Nadal ended the year 2008 as the World No.1 and since then has achieved this feat four more times by ending 2010, 2013, 2017, and 2019 season as the World No.1. It is remarkable the way Nadal has remained dominant despite various injuries and continues to come back stronger after each setback.

Rafael Nadal is just one grand slam short of equalling Roger Federer’s grand slam tally. Despite pulling out of the US Open 2020 due to the coronavirus scare, the Spaniard has a strong chance of reigning for the 13th time at the French Open 2020 with Federer missing out the year with his second knee surgery.

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Kshitij Tayal

470 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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