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Rafael Nadal clinches year-end No. 1 and advances to Tour Finals semis

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Rafael Nadal last finished the season atop the rankings in 2010. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal last finished the season atop the rankings in 2010. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

LONDON — Rafael Nadal defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) on Wednesday in round-robin play at the ATP World Tour Finals, securing his spot in the semifinals and locking up the year-end No. 1 ranking for the third time in his career.

“[It is] one of the best things that I did in my career — come back to No. 1 after three seasons,” said Nadal, who also finished No. 1 in 2008 and 2010. “That’s very difficult in our sport … [and] that’s an emotional thing for me.”

Nadal became the first player to finish No. 1 three years after his last No. 1 year-end ranking and just the third player to finish No. 1 after relinquishing the top spot. The 27-year-old Spaniard accomplished the feat despite missing the Australian Open and beginning his season in February after being out seven months with a knee injury.

Nadal was ranked fifth when he made his 2013 debut at the VTR Open, where he lost in the finals. The following week, he won the Brasil Open, jump-starting his incredible season. In 16 completed tournaments, Nadal has made 13 finals and won 10 titles.

He stormed to his eighth French Open title this year and won his second U.S. Open title, defeating then-No. 1 Novak Djokovic along the way each time. With Wednesday’s victory, Nadal improved to 73-6 in 2013 and inched closer to his first World Tour Finals title.

“After all the success I had during the season, winning five Masters 1000s, playing a final in another, winning a few ATP 500s, playing another final, winning two Grand Slams … I felt I deserved to be here at the end of the season,” Nadal said.

  • Published On Nov 06, 2013
  • 8 comments
    davide1
    davide1

    All I have to say is "remember Lance Armstrong"

    notme
    notme

    I am thrilled for this hard-working, humble young man.  He has had an amazing come back and I congratulate him.  He is my favorite player to watch in tennis.

    CMassrey
    CMassrey

    All I can say is 'how about winning on your own, Nadal"?  

    CMassrey
    CMassrey

    Now if Nadal and his uncle would quit cheating by his oncourt coaching, maybe more people would appreciate this.  So glad Stan spoke up and complained about this.  The umpires only ever warn Nadal about his cheating.  They don't have the guts to actually penalize him points. 

    shelley
    shelley

    @davide1 You realize that in Lance Armstrong's world, all and I mean ALL of the top cyclists were doping so be careful how you throw around these completely unfounded rumours about Rafa as that would mean that your favourite player was being 'Lance' too.

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    @CMassrey , right. The reason he has won 60 tournaments and a dozen majors in his career is because of some guy in the stands. Brilliant.

    alexleo
    alexleo

    @CMassrey Oh yes. I was utterly amazed at his Uncle Toni's backhand, forehand, and serve. Rafael didn't play at all. He was just standing there, while his uncle did all the work throughout the match. How dare Rafael claim all those trophies when it was his uncle who actually played. Shame on, Rafael. He should just quit.

    All I can say is just stop the hate. It's annoying. Rafael won and he deserves to be the number one player right now. 

    heiko.schmidt101
    heiko.schmidt101

    Yeah. I was so irritated at the uncle's grunting, Lol.

    Congrats, Rafa! You deserve it.