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Tennis Super Star Rafael Nadal Will Finish 2017 And Start 2018 As ATP World Number 1

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning his round 2 match against Hyeon Chung of Korea at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 01 November 2017. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON



Nadal No. 1: Spaniard clinches year-end top spot with Paris win over Chung


By Ricky Dimon


For the fourth time in his illustrious career, Rafael Nadal will finish year-end world No. 1.


Nadal mathematically clinched the season-ending top spot when he beat Hyeon Chung 7-5, 6-3 in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday. The reigning French Open and U.S. Open champion broke serve four times and committed just a single unforced error off the backhand wing before getting the job done in one hour and 48 minutes.


“I’m very, very happy for everything,” Nadal assured during his on-court interview. “It has been an amazing year. One year ago, for sure I never dreamed about being World No. 1 again at the end of the season. It’s something that means a lot to me. But the season is not over.”


It is also not over for Roger Federer, but the second-ranked Swiss has only the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals remaining on his schedule. After securing his eighth career Swiss Indoors Basel title this past week, Federer announced his withdrawal from the Paris Masters. There are 1,500 ranking points available to an undefeated champion in London, but Nadal currently owns an insurmountable 1,550-point lead over his closest rival.


Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Hyeon Chung of Korea during their second round match at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 01 November 2017. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

The Spaniard is the oldest player in history to finish a year as world No. 1 in the (during rankings era). He is the first player to hold, lose, and regain the year-end top three different times (he also finished No. 1 in 2008, again in 2010, and again in 2013). Nadal is also the first player to finish No. 1 four times in non-consecutive years, the first over-30 player to finish No. 1 four years after his previous such feat, and the nine-year gap between two different year-end No. 1s is also a record. Seven men have now been year-end No. 1 on at least four occasions during their careers, a list that also boasts Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors (5), Roger Federer (5), Ivan Lendl (4), John McEnroe (4), and Novak Djokovic (4).


“The year-end No.1 ranking is the ultimate achievement in our season, demanding the very highest standards in terms of excellence, consistency and endurance,” said ATP president Chris Kermode. “By becoming–at the age of 31–the oldest player in the game’s history to achieve this spectacular feat, Rafa has once again demonstrated his unwavering work ethic, determination, and passion for the game. He continues to re-write the record books and is a credit to our sport. On behalf of the ATP, we congratulate him on a phenomenal season.”


Nadal will be presented his No. 1 trophy two weeks down the road at the O2 Arena, where he will be joined by Federer, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, and Grigor Dimitrov. The last two spots remain up for grabs.


Nadal, who will face Pablo Cuevas on Thursday, is joined in the third round by Juan Martin Del Potro. The Argentine crushed Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2 to keep himself in London contention.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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