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.
The 31-year-old Nadal will be the oldest year-end number one and first season-ending number one over the age of 30 since the Emirates ATP Rankings were established in 1973.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that it is his fourth time of finishing atop the rankings, adding to 2008, 2010 and 2013.
Roger Federer has pushed Nadal all the way in the battle to finish atop the rankings, with both players enjoying remarkable comebacks in 2017.
But with Federer forced to withdraw from Paris, Nadal needed just one more win to finish as number one.
“I’m very, very happy for everything,” said Nadal in his on-court interview.
“It has been an amazing year. One year ago, for sure, I never dreamt about being world number one again at the end of the season.
“It’s something that means a lot to me. But the season is not over,” Nadal was quoted on the ATP World Tour website as saying.
However, it wasn’t plain sailing for Nadal against the 21-year-old Chung, who is due to feature at the inaugural NextGen ATP Finals in Milan next week.
After breaks were exchanged in the early stages, Nadal then rallied from a 0/40 deficit before breaking Chung to lead 4-2.
However, with Nadal serving for the set in the ninth game, his South Korean opponent broke back and levelled at 5-5.
The Spaniard eventually got over the line in the first set as he opened up a 0/40 lead on Chung’s serve in the 12th game.
He then clinched it with a forehand winner as the match ticked into the hour mark.
After Chung fended off four break points in the fourth game of the second set, Nadal made his move with a break in the ninth game.
This helped him to seal victory in one hour and 49 minutes.
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