The Big Four of tennis died on Monday after complications with various ailments and old age. It was 13.
The ATP's newest rankings were released Monday morning and for the first time since July 6, 2003 neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal, the two charter members of the sport's most exclusive club, aren't in the top four. Thirteen years. Federer was the first to join the top four in the rankings released on July 7, 2003 while Nadal came in two years later.
Her are some jaw-dropping facts about that feat of dominance and longevity:
ATP World Tour via Getty ImagesPeter Staples/ATP World Tour
Federer spent exactly one decade (consecutively) in the top 10, starting on that July 7 in 2003 and finally leaving on July 8, 2013. (You can't make this stuff up.) He then had a 34-week stint outside the top four, got back in and didn't fall back out until injury forced him to cancel the rest of his 2015 season after a disappointing loss in the Wimbledon semifinals. Overall, he was ranked in the top four for 658 of the last 692 weeks.
Getty ImagesAdam Pretty
Nadal jumped into the top four about two years after Federer, going from No. 5 to No. 3 after winning his first French Open in 2005 (June 6, 2005). A month later he was No. 2 and stayed there for three years behind Federer, until he leapt him after his victory in the greatest match ever played, the 2008 Wimbledon final. Rafa made it 7.5 consecutive years in the top four before exiting in January of 2013 thanks, in large part, to injury. Since then, he's bounced in and out of the top four.
Getty ImagesAlex Livesey
Federer and Nadal jumped past each other at the end of August to keep the streak alive. Federer, who was losing points with each successive tournament, fell to No. 5 on the 29th of that month. The man who replaced him at No. 4 was Nadal.
Getty ImagesJulian Finney
Nadal has been out of the top four for 71 weeks since he entered, giving him 621 of 692 weeks (90.0%). Federer's total (658 out of 692) was 95.0%.
AFP/Getty ImagesFABRICE COFFRINI
Given the lack of overlap in Federer's time outside the top four and Nadal's, it means that 588 of the last 692 rankings has featured both Federer and Nadal in the top four. Which is nuts.
AFP/Getty ImagesSAJJAD HUSSAIN
So is this: After Federer jumped into the top four, he and Nadal would go on to win 25 of the next 30 Grand Slams. Overall, those two, plus Novak Djokovic, have won 39 of the past 37 majors. Only Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray have multiples Slams since then.
The lowest Federer has fallen during the dual streak was No. 8, which he spent some time at after his lost 2013 season. Nadal has gone all the way down to No. 10 and has spent more time out of the top four than inside it over the past two years.
AFP/Getty ImagesWILLIAM WEST
Federer's breakdown of non-top-four rankings since July, 2013:
No. 5 - 9 weeks
No. 6 - 14 weeks
No. 7 - 5 weeks
No. 8 - 6 weeks
Getty ImagesMichael Steele
Nadal's breakdown is slightly less impressive - he's spent more time at No. 5 than Federer has spent out of the top four total (and don't forget Federer has two years on him).
No. 5 - 48 weeks
No. 6 - 1 week
No. 7 - 9 weeks
No. 8 - 4 weeks
No. 9 - 2 weeks
No. 10 - 7 weeks
Getty ImagesClive Brunskill
Apples and oranges but over the time since this streak began, Serena Williams herself has spent about four years outside the WTA top four.