Nadal officially regains world No. 1 ranking

The question was not “if,” but “when” either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer would become No. 1 in the world this summer.

With all of Andy Murray’s injury problems and all of the points he has to defend from his remarkable 2016 campaign–starting at the French Open and Wimbledon–his fall from the No. 1 ranking was inevitable.

Nadal had a chance to reclaim the top spot at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, but he was upset in the third round by Denis Shapovalov. That left both Nadal and Roger Federer with a chance heading into last week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. With an absent Murray starting at 600 points coming off the board from his runner-up performance one summer ago, either Nadal or Federer was guaranteed of becoming No. 1 following the event.

Federer’s eventual withdrawal left it in no doubt.

Nadal ended up reaching the quarterfinals before succumbing to Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 7-5. It was more than enough for him to officially become No. 1 when the new rankings were revealed on Monday. With those 180 quarterfinal points, the 31-year-old Spaniard is 495 points clear of the second-ranked Murray and 500 ahead of No. 3 Federer. Nadal is also atop the 2017 race to the World Tour Finals–by 220 points over Federer.

“Hello guys, just want to say thank you very much to all of you for your support,” Nadal said in an Instagram video. “It has been a very good year, and today is a special one. Going back to number one, I’m just very happy.”

“To regain the No. 1 ranking nine years after having first reached it is unprecedented,” ATP president Chris Kermode said. “Rafa has been setting records throughout his remarkable career and this one is as impressive as any. It shows incredible dedication and longevity, and we congratulate him on this amazing achievement.”

Nadal has spent a total of 141 weeks at No. 1. He first ascended to the top spot in August of 2008 and was last there in July of 2014. Murray was No. 1 for 41 weeks (since November of 2016) until Monday.

But the No. 1 distinction will be up for grabs again at the U.S. Open, which begins in New York next Monday. Federer is not far behind and has no points to defend after missing the season’s fourth and final Grand Slam in 2016 due to a knee injury.

8 Comments on Nadal officially regains world No. 1 ranking

  1. Rafa regained the #1 ranking because of his achievements not because Murray is injured or Federer didn’t play the clay season. Nadal has been leading the race for the last 6 months.

    Vamos Rafa!

  2. Since the Emirates ATP Rankings began in 1973, only four players (Ivan Lendl, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic) have reclaimed the year-end No. 1 spot after losing it. In a showing of unparalleled perseverance, only Nadal has achieved this on more than one occasion, returning to the top of the year-end rankings in 2010 and 2013. Now, he’s looking to do it for a third time in 2017.

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