Nadal Becomes First Tennis Player To Record 21 Million Followers On Instagram

Nadal Becomes First Tennis Player To Record 21 Million Followers On Instagram

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal may be languishing outside the world's Top 600 in the ATP rankings, but he has strengthened his dominance on the social media platform Instagram.

Just last September, Nadal became the first tennis player to reach 20 million followers on Meta's photo and video-sharing social network, steering clear of Serena Williams and longtime rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

He has nearly as many followers as Djokovic and Federer combined. Serena Williams, who is now retired, has the second-most followers among tennis players on Instagram, with 17.2 million. Djokovic has 14.4 million, with Federer down in fourth place with 12.1 million.

And as of last week, Nadal has now hit the 21 million mark. Nadal's current number makes him the undisputed king of the platform, which he joined back in 2015 and has maintained an active presence on it. He has always updated his legion of followers on his injury status and recovery process.

Nadal also tends to use the platform to communicate about the tournaments he will play during the season when healthy. Occasionally, he takes a closer look at the results of the tour and congratulates his peers whenever they excel in an event.

In the highly digitalized world, social media plays an integral role in the player's close connection with the fans, even though it remains a double-edged sword. Players have been subjected to online abuse, and some even received death threats from irate gamblers after losing a tennis match.

Nadal has recovered from a hip injury he sustained at last month's Brisbane International. He was forced to miss key tournaments like the Australian Open and the Qatar Open, but he is penciled in to play in the Netflix Slam exhibition and the Indian Wells Masters next month.

His schedule beyond Indian Wells remains unclear, but he has decided to skip the Miami Open. This could mean Nadal is set to prioritize playing the clay swing in early April.


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