Carlos Alcaraz becomes youngest year-end No. 1 in men’s tennis as Rafael Nadal’s slump continues at ATP Finals in Indian Wells
SANTA BARANO, Calif. (May 26, 2013) – Two weeks have passed since Rafael Nadal’s historic victory at the 2009 US Open but the five-time Grand Slam champion has struggled in the 2013 season so far.
Nadal, 26, has reached the semifinals of the Masters 1000 (sixth) and has lost in the first round of clay Masters tournaments. He lost to Tomas Berdych at the Barclays ATP Finals after losing to Fernando Verdasco the week before in New York.
The Argentine has now lost three of his last five matches and has been drawn against Djokovic in the semifinals of the ATP Finals in Indian Wells, California, the week after winning the US Open.
Despite his tough season, Rafael Nadal has remained a top player with one of the finest records ever in men’s tennis. He is the youngest player to reach three Grand Slam final in the Open era of the Open Era and is only a year-and-a-half older than Pete Sampras, who was 24 when he won the 1998 US Open.
Nadal’s career has not been without its ups and downs. His career has fluctuated from being ranked as high as No. 3 at the beginning of 2002 to falling down the rankings to No. 22 last year.
When it looked as if he would not play in the Rio Olympics, Nadal had the chance to go to London and make history by becoming the first Spaniard to win gold in the Olympic Games.
The Olympic silver medalist has not had a great year, losing in the second round of the US Open to Tomas Berdych and in the second week of the Masters 1000 tournament played on grass, the first three-time French Open champion was ousted by Andy Murray.
After failing to reach the finals of the four Grand Slam tournaments, Nadal won his first three ATP Masters 1000 titles in March. In the first week of the event in Monte Carlo, Nadal took the title and kept the momentum going by winning the next two weeks in Miami and Miami Gardens.
In the year-opening week at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in New York, Nadal was drawn in the first round against No. 5 Roger Federer. Federer, a two-