Tennis Identity

Rafa Nadal Is Number 1 in the World for the 4th Time

Almost nine years to the day since he first became No. 1, Spain’s Rafael Nadal today returned to the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings for his fourth stint at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis. Nadal, who has already spent 141 total weeks at No. 1, replaces Great Britain’s Andy Murray, who had held the top spot for 41 weeks since 7 November 2016.

Rafa Nadal Number one

Nadal, who first ascended to No. 1 on 18 August 2008 at the age of 22, last held top spot three years and 45 days ago on 6 July 2014. The Spaniard will now look to stay ahead of his great Swiss rival Roger Federer and finish atop the year-end Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 2013 and for the fourth time in his career (2008, 2010, 2013).

“Being No. 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something unbelievable, so [it] is, for me, an amazing achievement to be back to that position after [a] few years, three years,” said Nadal.




The 31-year-old Nadal has spent three previous stints at No. 1 – 46 weeks between 18 August 2008 and 5 July 2009, 56 weeks from 7 June 2010 to 3 July 2011 and 39 weeks between 7 October 2013 and 6 July 2014. He holds the record for the longest gap – nine years and three days – between his debut at No. 1 and his return today, which betters the previous mark of American Jimmy Connors, who was first No. 1 on 29 July 1974 and last at No. 1 on 3 July 1983 – a gap of eight years and 339 days.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President said, “To regain the No. 1 ranking nine years after having first reached it is unprecedented. Rafa has been setting records throughout his remarkable career and this one is as impressive as any. It shows incredible dedication and longevity, and we congratulate him on this amazing achievement.”

The Spanish superstar, who ended the 2016 season early due to a wrist injury, has returned in 2017 playing some of the best tennis of his career. In compiling an ATP World Tour-best 49-9 match record, Nadal has captured four trophies this season, including historic 10th titles at Roland Garros (d. Wawrinka), the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Ramos-Vinolas) and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Thiem), in addition to a fifth crown at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Thiem). He has also reached three other finals – the Australian Open (l. to Federer), Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco (l. to Querrey) and the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Federer).

On 12 June, Nadal became the first player to qualify for the 2017 season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November. It is the 13th straight year that he has qualified for the elite eight-player tournament.

THE NUMBER ONES A list in chronological order of the 26 players who have ranked No. 1 in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since 1973):

Player     Date Reached     Age     Total Weeks

Andy Murray (GBR) 7 November 2016 29 41

Novak Djokovic (SRB) 4 July 2011 24 223

Rafael Nadal (ESP) 18 August 2008 22 142 (as of 21 August 2017)

Roger Federer (SUI) 2 February 2004 22 302

Andy Roddick (USA) 3 November 2003 21 13

Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 8 September 2003 23 8

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 19 November 2001 20 80

Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) 4 December 2000 24 43

Marat Safin (RUS) 20 November 2000 20 9

Patrick Rafter (AUS) 26 July 1999 26 1

Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS) 3 May 1999 25 6

Carlos Moya (ESP) 15 March 1999 22 2

Marcelo Rios (CHI) 30 March 1998 22 6

Thomas Muster (AUT) 12 February 1996 28 6

Andre Agassi (USA) 10 April 1995 24 101

Pete Sampras (USA) 12 April 1993 21 286

Jim Courier (USA) 10 February 1992 21 58

Boris Becker (GER) 28 January 1991 23 12

Stefan Edberg (SWE) 13 August 1990 24 72

Mats Wilander (SWE) 12 September 1988 24 20

Ivan Lendl (CZE) 28 February 1983 22 270

John McEnroe (USA) 3 March 1980 21 170

Bjorn Borg (SWE) 23 August 1977 21 109

Jimmy Connors (USA) 29 July 1974 21 268

John Newcombe (AUS) 3 June 1974 30 8

Ilie Nastase (ROU) 23 August 1973 27 40



Sign up for our weekly email

One thought on “Rafa Nadal Is Number 1 in the World for the 4th Time”

Comments are closed.