Despite being one of the all-time greats, Rafael Nadal might finally be on the down swing of his career.
After the 2015 French Open, it became apparent that the 29-year-old had lost some momentum. Nadal was defeated at Roland Garros for only the second time since 2005. His early exit loss came as quite the surprise.
Nadal is the greatest clay court player in the history of men’s tennis, but something seems amiss this year. He has suffered six clay court losses on the season, the most of his career. Nadal’s 2015 continued to get worse, as unknown qualifier, Dustin Brown of Jamaica, knocked him out of Wimbledon in the tournament’s second round.
Nadal’s recent record at the event has been less than stellar, but this defeat will undoubtedly have a lasting effect. The loss couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 2010 Wimbledon champion. Nadal isn’t as prime in his older age as some other seasoned top-level tennis stars, such as Roger Federer.
He has suffered four injuries in the last six years, and might still be reeling from his many setbacks. Nadal’s body just can’t hold up to the rigors of an intense tennis match.
It’s almost a certainty that Nadal will drop out of the top-10 in the upcoming rankings. With the U.S. Open on the horizon, Nadal might see himself fall even further down the totem pole. He isn’t nearly as effective on the hard court as he is on clay, and seeing as to how he has been performing in recent months, it’s going to be a long shot for him to remain in top contention.
Nadal can’t be counted out, but it’s unlikely we will ever see the old Raffy again.