Consistency at the highest level of any sport is incredibly difficult to maintain.
It is quite easy to be left behind in tennis, you can never rest on success and must always be thinking about improving and raising the bar.
Whether it is for a short or long period of time staying at the peak of men’s tennis is one of sports questions and a man with the answers is Rafael Nadal.
At the age of 18 the Spaniard entered the top ten in the ATP Rankings for the first time in April 2005 following his first Masters 1000 title and first Monte-Carlo title.
Since then a lot has happened. 13 titles at Roland Garros, 20 Grand Slam titles and another 34 Masters 1000 titles following on from that win in Monte-Carlo in 2005.
In this time there have been a lot of obstacles for Rafa, challenges from the best of all time and injuries to bounce back from. No one has bounced back better than Rafa and has had that winners mentality since he was a teenager.
Despite obstacles something remained consistent since the 25th of April 2005 until this present day, Rafael Nadal has never left the top ten in the world.
The Spaniard now stands alone with this record taking over Jimmy Connors’ record of 788 consecutive weeks. Also on the list:
Jimmy Connors – 788
Roger Federer – 734
Ivan Lendl – 619
Pete Sampras – 565
Novak Djokovic – 555
Stefan Edberg – 493
Guillermo Vilas – 484
Boris Becker – 436
Bjorn Borg – 421
You can see these incredible names on this list and also think about those not on it, to be a consistent top ten player for this time is unbelievable and for Rafa to have done it for a record 790 weeks and counting is remarkable.
I said after he won Roland Garros for the 13th time, we may not see someone like this in our lifetime again.
13 singles titles at one Grand Slam and over 15 consecutive years ranked inside the top ten, phenomenal.