Rafael Nadal has been number 2 in the world since last week, even without playing. Can the Spanish legend override Carlos Alcaraz before the end of the year? Yes, here’s how. But let’s say it right away: the mission is almost desperate, looking at recent history.
Rafa Nadal, indeed without taking the field, came world number 2 last week. Decisive mistakes by Casper Ruud, finalist at the last US Open, in Korea and Japan. Just a many months agone
, the Majorcan sounded fated to finish in front of everyone, given the out-court vicissitudes of his rival Nole Djokovic and the palms in Australia and France, still, the triumph of Alcaraz in the United States has changed the cards on the table.
Of course, at the Astana Open, the 2003 class of Murcia lost the occasion to close, or nearly, the games. the moment he has,740 points, 930 further than his outstanding compatriot, for a fratricidal fight that was unknown since the days of Agassi and Sampras.
Nadal stopped before the US Open a time ago and only returned in 2022. This means he has no points to defend. Alcaraz has 280, of which 10 have formerly been lost to Indian Wells, where he lost in the first round. There remain the 180 in Vienna, where he reached the semifinals, and the 90 in Paris, which he closed in the alternate round.
In the first case, 180 will lapse because in Austria, Alcaraz, there won’t be. The occasion to go back will come from 24 October in Basel. So there will be Paris, where the diggings are the thing. And Don Rafa? easily sacrifice, but not excluded from the race, the Majorcan will have to get to the end of Paris, and latterly the ATP Tests, which has always been his most damned nemesis.
In short, he must win where he has no way won, taking home,500 points. We remind you, at the Tests, Nadal played two tests, in 2010 and 2013, in Paris, noway present until 2007, in seven participations he reached only one final, lost in two sets with Nalbandian, and three semifinals.
Their only positive memory, is the palm number 1000 in his career. It should be noted that moment the player has stopped from the US Open, piecemeal from an appearance at the Laver Cup. In short, a nearly insolvable undertaking to recover a peak that has been missing since 2020.