Rafael Nadal celebrated 34 years-old on 3 June 2020, with a new record shared with Roger Federer. The Spaniard is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time and the best ever ever on clay-courts: he is the winner of 12 Roland Garros titles, 4 Us Open, 2 Wimbledon and 1 Australian Open.
With 19 Slams he chases Roger Federer’s 20 Slams record: a goal that he could manage to achieve already this year if the season were to start again. Nadal occupied the first position of the ATP ranking for a total of 209 weeks.
In his collection there are also two Olympic gold medals (one in the men’s singles, one in men’s doubles) won at the Beijing 2008 and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, as well as five editions of the Davis Cup. To be able to boast of all possible titles, he should win the ATP Finals, where he played two finals anyway: in 2010 and 2013, defeated respectively by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Nadal’s new record, shared with Roger Federer and Ken Rosewall
As already mentioned, The Spaniard celebrated his birthday: this makes Nadal the third player in the Open Era to occupy one of the first two positions of the ATP ranking after turning 34 years-old.
The first to do so was the Australian champion Ken Rosewall in 1975, when he was already over 40 years-old. The second was instead Roger Federer, number 2 of the ATP ranking in August 2015, after turning 34 years-old. The Swiss Maestro, 3 years later, was able to come back number 1 of the ATP ranking.
Nadal, who is set in the second place of the world rankings today, hid the ranking throne last February, after regaining it in November 2019. This season, after reaching the ATP Cup final, Rafa was stopped in the Australian Open quarter-finals by a great Dominic Thiem.
The Spaniard subsequently triumphed in the Mexican Open in Acapulco, without ever having granted even one set to his opponents. The ATP rankings, frozen in March due to the global pandemic that is affecting the world of sport and in particular of tennis, will not be changed until the Tour resumes.
For now the date is July 31, 2020: from August 1 ATP and WTA Tours should return to play, with the US Open and Roland Garros which should be played between late August and early October 2020. Meanwhile Nadal set a new record for his exciting career, to be shared with his longtime rival: Roger Federer.