Federer’s Cincinnati absence guarantees No. 1 ranking for Nadal

Rafael Nadal will return to the No. 1 ranking next week. Nadal, who had a chance to reach the top spot in Montreal but lost to Denis Shapovalov in the third round, clinched No. 1 after the Western & Southern Open when Roger Federer withdrew due to a back injury.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion, of course, is passing Andy Murray–not Federer. Murray was guaranteed to fall from his perch atop the chart with 600 points from last year’s runner-up finish in Cincinnati coming off the board. Only Nadal and Federer had a chance to overtake him.

“Obviously it’s bad news for the event that Roger is not playing,” Nadal noted during his pre-tournament press conference. “For me personally obviously to be back to that position is something special. A lot of things have happened since the last time I was in this spot. Injuries and some tough moments, of course, but I have held the passion and the love for the game and that’s why I have the chance to be back in that position again. So I’m just trying to enjoy the moment and just trying to be ready to compete well here. That’s the most important thing for me now.”

Nadal has not been No. 1 in the world since June of 2014. Murray became No. 1 for the first time last November and maintained it at the end of the year by beating Novak Djokovic in a winner-take-all World Tour Finals title match.

This season, however, has been a much different story. While Murray and Djokovic have been plagued by injuries, Nadal and Federer have split the three majors. Federer triumphed at the Australian Open, Nadal lifted the French Open trophy for the 10th time, and Federer captured an eighth Wimbledon crown.

Thus it is a race for year-end No. 1 between the two all-time greats.

“Roger and I are both having a great season,” Nadal assured. “I think both of us are going to have the chance to be in that position until the end of the season. It depends on the results…. So let’s see. I have an opportunity [in Cincinnati] to compete well this week and I’m going to try to do it.”

7 Comments on Federer’s Cincinnati absence guarantees No. 1 ranking for Nadal

  1. Just can say thank you very much to Rafa. And Vamos!
    (Not the way I would have liked to see it happen but I’ll take it). The rest of the season should be interesting. Roger will have to manage his back issue carefully, of course. No one can guarantee Rafa’s health. Zverev is coming on strong but can he go five? What about the enigma that is Nick? He’s still somewhat injured. He gave an interesting interview to tennis channel. Seems to be realistic, anyway. Pity. There’s a decent guy and a great player lurking in there somewhere.

    • Ramara (AT 4:46 PM),

      A zillion players have benefited from Rafa’s injuries he has had during his career. I’m glad if he also can benefit. 🙂

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