Rafael Nadal to Crash Out of Top 5 Rankings After Latest Setback

Published 08/20/2021, 5:30 PM EDT
Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after a play against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports


The 2021 season has been a turbulent one for Rafael Nadal. Marred by a string of injuries, the Spaniard failed to win a Grand Slam this year, and saw Novak Djokovic tie him and Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam victories.

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Earlier today, Nadal announced his withdrawal from the rest of the 2021 season. He cited a foot injury which he didn’t recover fully from as the reason for his withdrawal. Along with missing out on the opportunity of clinching his 21st Grand Slam this year, he could also take a significant hit in the ATP Rankings.

Rafael Nadal to lose 2000 ATP Ranking Points after US Open 2021

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Nadal won the 2019 US Open in a thrilling final against current World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev. In a match that went to five sets, Nadal gave up a two-set lead to Medvedev, before sealing his 19th Grand Slam title in the fifth set. The scoreline read 7–5, 6–3, 5–7, 4–6, 6–4.

After that, the Spaniard clinched his record-equalling 20th Grand Slam at the 2020 French Open. However, in three Grand Slam tournaments this year, he won none of those tournaments.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 08: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during the fifth set of his Men’s Singles final match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia on day fourteen of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 08, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Winning a Grand Slam tournament gives a player on the ATP Tour 2000 points. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the ATP to freeze the world rankings from March 16th, 2020 for a period of time. However, the new system mandates points drop off as normal after August 16th, 2021.

This means Nadal will lose the 2000 points he earned from winning at Flushing Meadows in 2019. And with the Spaniard out for the rest of the season, he will have 5,815 ranking points before the US Open begins on Monday, August 30.

This could see him drop down to #8 in the rankings when they get updated on August 30.

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Djokovic will be the only player in the ‘Big 3’ to compete at the US Open this year. However, his withdrawal from the Cincinnati Open will see him lose 1000 ranking points prior to the hard court Grand Slam.

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Should Daniil Medvedev win the Cincinnati Open, he could close the gap to Djokovic down to around 300 ranking points. Hence, the Serb will need to be on his toes in Flushing Meadows to stay ahead of the Russian.

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Sanket Nair

624 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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