Madrid: Rafael Nadal has dropped out of the top five in the ATP rankings for the first time in 10 years after failing to defend his title at the Madrid Masters.
Nadal, a two-time defending champion in the Spanish capital, lost for the first time on clay against Andy Murray in Sunday’s final.
It was Nadal’s fourth loss on his favorite surface this year, only two weeks before starting his quest for a 10th French Open title.
The 28-year-old Nadal dropped to seventh in the rankings topped by Novak Djokovic ahead of Roger Federer and Murray, meaning that he could face highest-ranked opponents as early as the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
Nadal also dropped to seventh in May, 2005. Nadal is playing in Rome this week.