Nadal Makes Up Over 200 Spots In Rankings After Madrid Farewell Appearance

Nadal Makes Up Over 200 Spots In Rankings After Madrid Farewell Appearance

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal has managed to climb over 200 spots in the ATP rankings, thanks to his run to the fourth round at the Madrid Open.

Nadal started the 2024 season ranked World No. 672. He made his tennis return from hip surgery at the Brisbane International, where he played his first official tournament in 11 months in January. Because of his low ranking, Nadal was granted a main draw wild card at the event.

He reached the quarterfinals, losing to Jordan Thompson. But he sustained another hip injury at the tournament and was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open, Doha, Indian Wells, and Monte Carlo, missing out on the chance to climb the rankings ladder.

The Spaniard qualified for a protected ranking, which is a provision given to injured payers who attempt to resume their career after a long layoff of at least six months.

Nadal used that privilege to play his first clay-court tournament since the 2022 French Open in his home country at the Barcelona Open. He won easily over Italy's Flavio Cobolli but lost to World No. 11 Alex de Minaur in the subsequent round.

Following that loss, he confirmed that he had played in Barcelona for the last time. He improved by over 100 places and was ranked just outside the Top 500 when he entered his second clay event of 2024 in Madrid.

There, Nadal produced his best run of the season so far, winning three matches, including a gusty straight-sets win over de Minaur in their Barcelona rematch. But Nadal did not have the artillery and speed to overcome the energetic young Czech Jiri Lehecka in the round of 16.

The 37-year-old, a five-time Madrid Open champion, was honored with a post-match celebration by the organizers. He also revealed that it was his final outing at the tournament in what is turning out to be a farewell year for him. Nadal climbed over 200 spots to become World No. 305.


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