Rafael Nadal Drops Out Of Top 10 In Ranking For First Time In 18 years, Carlos Alcaraz At No 1 | Tennis News

Carlos Alcaraz returned to No. 1 in the ATP rankings on Monday (March 20), replacing Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in 18 years. Alcaraz rose one spot, swapping places with Djokovic, a day after ending Daniil Medvedev’s 19-match winning streak by beating him in straight sets in the final at Indian Wells, California. Alcaraz, a 19-year-old from Spain who first ascended to No. 1 by winning the US Open in September, didn’t drop a set in the hard-court tournament.

Djokovic has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any man or woman in tennis history. He did not play in Indian Wells because he is not allowed to enter the United States as a foreign citizen who is not vaccinated against COVID-19. He also will miss the Miami Open that begins this week; Alcaraz is the defending champion there.

Nadal has been sidelined since January by an injured hip flexor and he slipped four spots to No. 13 on Monday, ending a stay in the top 10 that began in April 2005. It is the longest such run in the ATP; Jimmy Connors is next on the list with about 15 years.

Djokovic and Nadal currently share the men’s record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Elena Rybakina’s straight-set victory over Aryna Sabalenka for the Indian Wells trophy pushed Rybakina up three spots to a career-high No. 7 in the WTA rankings. Iga Swiatek remained at No. 1, followed by Sabalenka, who defeated Rybakina in the Australian Open final in January.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is aiming to make his comeback from a hip injury at the clay-court Monte Carlo Masters next month, organizers said last week. The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been sidelined with a left hip flexor injury since the Australian Open, and pulled out of hard-court tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami.

The Monte Carlo Masters begins on April 8 and tournament director David Massey is optimistic Nadal will play. “Rafa was the first (player) to be registered,” Massey said in statement. “He really wants to play at the Monte Carlo Masters and is giving himself every chance to take part in the tournament he’s so fond of.”

Nadal has won the tournament a record 11 times, including an Open Era record streak of eight consecutive titles from 2005 to 2012. The 36-year-old Spaniard uses the event as a key part of his preparations for the French Open, which takes place May 28-June 11.

Nadal has won 14 of his major titles on clay at Roland Garros, including last year while dealing with chronic pain in his left foot. In January, Nadal hurt his hip flexor during a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald of the United States at the Australian Open.

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