Tennis: Rafa Nadal now World No 2

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Rafa Nadal: Poised to take over Number One ranking

Rafa Nadal is now  No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since October 2014, with just 2,605 points separating him from Andy Murray, the world number one.

Nadal received 2,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €2,100,000 in prize money after crushing Stan Wawrinka in the French Open Final on Sunday, to lift his tenth title in 12 years, since he made his debut at Roland Garros in 2005.

He also becomes the first man or woman in the Open Era to win 10 titles at a Grand Slam. And he is  now in pole position  to finish the season as year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 2013.

In the  Emirates  ATP rankings released Monday,  Wawrinka remains No 3, while Novak Djokovic  moved two notches down to No 4. Veteran Roger Federer, who skipped Roland Garros remains No 5.

Nadal’s 53rd clay-court title caps a remarkable 12-month turnaround for the Spaniard.

A year ago, he left Roland Garros in disappointment, having to retire from his third-round match against countryman Marcel Granollers because of a left wrist injury. Nadal then cut his 2016 season short to give himself more time to recuperate.

The strategy has worked. Nadal has reached a tour-leading seven finals so far this season, starting the season with final runs at the Australian Open, the Abierto Mexicano Telcel and at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Nadal fell to Federer in two of the three title matches, but on the red dirt in Europe, the Spaniard has been nearly perfect.

He won 24 of the 25 matches he played on clay, winning his 10th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and his 10thBarcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Nadal also celebrated his fifth Mutua Madrid Open title.

The Spaniard’s only loss came in Rome to Austrian Dominic Thiem, a defeat he more than avenged during a routine semi-final victory at Roland Garros last Friday.

Nadal is now 43-6 on the season and boasts a staggering 79-2 record at the clay-court Grand Slam.


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