Nadal surprised by return to year-end No. 1

Nadal surprised by return to year-end No. 1

Nadal surprised by return to year-end No. 1

RAFAEL NADAL will finish the year at the top of the tree after winning the second round of ATP Paris Masters against his South Korean opponent.

"One year ago, for sure, I never dreamed of being world No.1 at the end of the season".

His absence paved the way for Rafael Nadal, who secured his place at the top of the ATP rankings with victory over Hyeon Chung.

Because Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament, this result means that Nadal has clinched the year-end #1 ranking for the fourth time in his career. It's been an unbelievable year, ' he said after the match.

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"And missing this tournament Bercy that I love, which is played in a city that I love too, costs me a lot". And very happy of course.

The 36-year-old won his eighth title of the year at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, beating Juan Martin del Potro in three sets in the final to move to 96 singles titles.

After breaks were exchanged in the early stages, Nadal then rallied from a 0/40 deficit before breaking Chung to lead 4-2.

It has been a stunning year for the 31-year-old, who won the French Open for the tenth time, as well as winning the US Open and reaching the final of the Australian Open.

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Frenchman Lucas Pouille kept alive his slim chances of qualifying for London as well with a 6-3 6-4 win against Feliciano Lopez, but No. 12 Kevin Anderson's chances took a dent after a 5-7 6-4 7-5 loss to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

Next he will face Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, who ended a 10-match losing streak in round one and backed that up with a 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/1) 6-2 victory over 15th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Also, fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev lost to Robin Haase 3-6 6-2 6-2, and ninth seed John Isner beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (13-11) 6-3.

The Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and season-ending extravaganza ATP Finals at London's O2 in November end another memorable year which will be covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs and updates as the season reaches its climax.

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