Rafael Nadal goes from World No. 5 in danger to closing in on No. 4 again

Nadal was 1,665 points adrift No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and just 90 points off the top of No. 6 Andrey Rublev heading into the Australian Open

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Rafael Nadal australian open
(Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal was only a few days ago on the verge of giving up his Top 5 ranking. If Matteo Berrettini had defeated him in the Australian Open quarterfinals, Berrettini would have moved to No. 5, pushing Nadal to No. 6.

But, after defeating the Italian in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, Nadal went on to win a historic final against Daniil Medvedev, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5, to earn his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam championship.

With that victory, Nadal moves from a No. 5 in jeopardy to a No. 4 contender.

Nadal was 1,665 points adrift No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and just 90 points off the top of No. 6 Andrey Rublev heading into the Australian Open.

Now, Rafael Nadal has made about as huge a jump in the rankings as it is conceivable to make without actually moving up a position, and he is only 295 points behind No. 4 Tsitsipas, with a 1,597-point lead over No. 6, Berrettini.

Over the next two and a half months, he’ll have to defend less than 1,000 points.

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