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Nadal secures year-end No. 1 ranking after Djokovic falls to Federer

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 15 Nov 2019
  • Nadal clinches year-end No. 1 ranking
  • Spaniard finishes season No. 1 for the fifth time
  • The 33-year-old is the oldest man to finish as year-end No. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings
Rafael Nadal (PA Images)

Rafael Nadal has secured the year-end No. 1 ranking for a fifth time after Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals on Thursday night.

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Djokovic’s bid to regain the No. 1 ranking, which he relinquished a couple of weeks ago, ended at the hands of Federer, with Nadal now guaranteed to end 2019 as the World No. 1 with the Serbian exiting the ATP Finals in the group stage.



Nadal has shattered a number of records in completing the season at the top of the tennis mountain, becoming the oldest player to finish year-end No. 1 since the current ATP rankings were established in 1973, while he is also the first player to finish No. 1 five times in non-consecutive years. The Spaniard’s 11-year gap between first and last year-end No. 1 seasons is also a record, with Nadal first achieving the feat in 2008.

"Rafa has had another incredible season and fully deserves this accolade for a remarkable fifth time in his career,” ATP President Chris Kermode said. 
“Since the inception of the ATP Rankings in 1973, only 17 players can lay claim to finishing year-end No.1 - it’s unquestionably one of the toughest achievements in all sport. On behalf of ATP, many congratulations to Rafa and his team."

The 33-year-old Nadal joins Federer, Djokovic and Jimmy Connors in equal second place for most year-end No. 1 finishes with five, behind Pete Sampras, who holds the record with six.

Rafael Nadal (PA Images)
After shutting down his 2018 season after the U.S. Open due to injury, Nadal has bounced back in extremely strong fashion in 2019, registering a current 52-7 match record, winning two more Grand Slams at Roland Garros and the U.S. Open, along with an additional two Masters 1000 crowns in Rome and Montreal, which was a record-extending 35th title at Masters Series level.

Nadal was also runner-up to Djokovic at the Australian Open to launch the year and is bidding to win the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time in his illustrious career this week.

It’s the 16th consecutive season that a member of the ‘Big Four’ has finished the year as World No. 1. Andy Roddick was the last player outside the Big Four to be year-end No. 1 in 2003.

Celebrations will be on hold for Nadal, who needs to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday to ensure his qualification into the ATP Finals semi-finals.

Tsitsipas has already secured his place in the final four, but Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev can also both still join him in the semis as they square off on Friday night.

Nadal will be presented with the year-end No. 1 trophy later this week in London.


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Nadal secures year-end No. 1 ranking after Djokovic falls to Federer

Rafael Nadal has secured the year-end No. 1 ranking for a fifth time after Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals on Thursday night.

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