Rafael Nadal secures year-end No 1 spot after remarkable 2017 season

Rafael Nadal and Hyeon Chung at the Paris Masters
GETTYRafael Nadal and Hyeon Chung clash in the second round of the Paris Masters

02 November, 2017

Rafael Nadal will finish 2017 as year-end number one in the Emirates ATP Rankings after beating Hyeon Chung 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters.

Nadal, 31, becomes the oldest year-end number one since the establishment of the ATP Rankings and finishes the year as the sport's best ranked male player for the fourth time in his illustrious career after accomplishing the feat in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

Nadal celebrates his victory and said: "I never dreamed of being world No.1 at the end of the season".

Roger Federer's withdrawal from the tournament in order to rest ahead of the ATP Finals meant Nadal needed only one win to guarantee his great rival could not catch him. It has been an wonderful year. Federer also won two Slams this year, but the Swiss skipped the French Open, and earned far fewer points than the Spaniard in the spring, as Federer skipped essentially the entire clay court season.

"It's something that means a lot to me". And very happy of course.

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After many considered him done winning majors, Nadal followed up reaching the Australian Open final by rolling through the French Open without losing a set and then claiming the US Open for the third time. After conceding an early break, he looked to have turned things around when he led 5-2 in the opening set only for Chung to level up.

Nadal will next face Pablo Cuevas in the last 16 on Thursday, after the unseeded Uruguayan edged out Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/1), 6-2.

But the 31-year-old Spaniard - who is also trying to balance the delicate political situation in his native country with his status as an worldwide sportsman - refused to hype up his potential coronation.

A raft of injuries had left many thinking that Nadal was a spent force at the end of a year ago, but he stormed back to prominence with a five-set final loss to Federer at the Australian Open.

Nadal, who is tied for a record 30 Masters titles with Djokovic, has never won the tournament in Paris.

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