The Spanish Rafael Nadal will go out this Friday to fight against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and win or lose no one will be able to snatch the number one position from him, an achievement obtained five times in his career, and which at 33 years makes him the oldest in getting it (since 1973).
Nadal replaced Serbian Novak Djokovic in that position on November 4 and has won four titles in this session, two of them Grand Slam: Roland Garros and the US Open, in addition to two Masters 1,000.
The Spaniard also finished the season as number one in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2017. He has achieved that position, has lost it and has regained it four times. And he is the only one who has achieved it in five non-consecutive years. The period between its first time, 2008, and the last 2019, eleven years, is also a record.
He also ties with four other players to finish at the top of professional tennis, with Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors (5) Roger Federer (5) and Novak Djokovic (5).
“Rafa has had another incredible season and he deserves this award for the fifth time in his career,” his still president, Chris Kermode, of England, said in an ATP statement. “Since the creation of the ATP rankings in 1973, only 17 players can claim to finish the year in No. 1 – it is without a doubt one of the toughest achievements in the entire sport. On behalf of the ATP, congratulations to Rafa and his team, “he said.
Nadal has 52 wins and has conceded just seven losses this year. His twelfth Roland Garros title in June, and his fourth at the US Open in September, as well as his ninth crown in Rome and 35 Masters 1,000 of his career achieved in Montreal illuminate the 2019 record.
In addition, he reached the final of the Australian Open in January for which he has played three Grand Slam finals in a calendar year for the fourth time (also in 2010-11, 2017).
This week, Nadal aims to claim his first title at the ATP Finals, in which he has qualified 15 consecutive times (nine games) since 2005. Nadal will receive his trophy as number one at the O2 this week, reports the ATP.
It is the ninth time in the last 19 years that No. 1 has been decided in the final tournament of the season: 2000 (Gustavo Kuerten), 2001-02 (Lleyton Hewitt), 2003 (Andy Roddick), 2009 (Federer), 2013 (Nadal), 2014 (Djokovic) and 2016 (Andy Murray).
2019 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2018 Novak Djokovic (SER) 2017 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2016 Andy Murray (GBR) 2015 Novak Djokovic (SER) 2014 Novak Djokovic (SER) 2013 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2012 Novak Djokovic (SER) 2011 Novak Djokovic (SER) 2010 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2009 Roger Federer (SUI) 2008 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2007 Roger Federer (SUI) 2006 Roger Federer (SUI) 2005 Roger Federer (SUI) 2004 Roger Federer (SUI) 2003 Andy Roddick (USA) 2002 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 2001 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 2000 Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) 1999 Andre Agassi (USA) 1998 Pete Sampras (USA) 1997 Pete Sampras (USA) 1996 Pete Sampras (USA) 1995 Pete Sampras (USA) 1994 Pete Sampras (USA) 1993 Pete Sampras (USA) 1992 Jim Courier (USA.) 1991 Stefan Edberg (SUE) 1990 Stefan Edberg (SUE) 1989 Ivan Lendl (RCH) 1988 Mats Wilander (SUE) 1987 Ivan Lendl (RCH) 1986 Ivan Lendl (RCH) 1985 Ivan Lendl (RCH) 1984 John McEnroe (USA) 1983 John McEnroe (USA) 1982 John McEnroe (USA) 1981 John McEnroe (USA) 1980 Bjorn Borg (SUE) 1979 Bjorn Borg (SUE) 1978 Jimmy Connors (USA) 1977 Jimmy Connors (USA) 1976 Jimmy Connors (USA) 1975 Jimmy Connors (USA) 1974 Jimmy Connors (USA) 1973 Ilie Nastase (RUM). EFE.