Tennis chief hails Rafael Nadal ‘incredible achievement’ as he overtakes Novak Djokovic

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Rafael Nadal returned to the No.1 spot of the ATP rankings at the expense of Novak Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal is back on top of the ATP rankings for the 197th time in his career as Novak Djokovic slipped to second place.

However, as Djokovic won the Paris Masters for a record fifth time, he is now only 640 points off the Spaniard, with Nadal sitting at the top on 9585.

Nadal, who withdrew from the event in the French capital due to an abdominal injury, will now look to battle it out with Djokovic and Roger Federer at the ATP Finals in London.

The 33-year-old Spaniard is now the second-oldest No. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings and is only behind Federer, who accomplished with feat at the age of 36 back in 2018.

Nadal has had a busy year, as he has won both the French and US Open and also took time off from tennis to get married last month.

And ATP Executive Chairman and President, Chris Kermode, described Nadal’s feat as an “incredible achievement” given the player’s age.

“Rafa has made a habit of setting the highest of standards throughout his career and his return to No. 1 is just the latest example,” said Kermode.

“It’s an incredible achievement and he continues to amaze with his longevity at the top of the game – many congratulations to him and his team.”

Nadal has played some of the best tennis of his career this season and he admitted he is “proud” with what he has achieved this year.

“I’m super happy with my season,” said Nadal.

“It was a tough beginning but then I was able to find a way to be back playing at a very high level of tennis and be in the situation that I am today.

“I’m very proud about the year that I am having.”

As for Djokovic, he knows going undefeated at the Finals in London will give him the best chance to claim his sixth year-end No. 1 finish.

If the Serbian wins it will take him level will Federer, who has won the event six times, while Nadal will be hoping it will be ninth time lucky for him, as he has yet to win the end of year tournament.

“It’s not possible for me now to assume anything,” said Djokovic.

“It is not a reality. I have to wait and see what happens in London, to see if I can reach that goal.

“It wouldn’t be correct to presume with regard to Nadal and the others.”

It’s an incredible achievement and he continues to amaze with his longevity at the top of the game

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