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Rafael Nadal secured his year-end No. 1 ATP ranking by winning his opening match at the Paris Masters on Wednesday.
The Spaniard, who has risen from ninth at the start of the year via French and US Open victories, advanced 7-5 6-3 in one hour and 48 minutes.
“The most important moment of the year was the clay-court season and winning a 10th Roland Garros title here”, he told the crowd with his on-court interview.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion is the oldest man to finish a season at the top of the rankings at the age of 31, having previously achieved the feat in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
However, he did not have it all his own way in a see-sawing first set in which he and Chung exchanged two breaks apiece before Nadal broke in the final game. South Korea’s Chung held his own in the second set but again crumbled in the latter stages to allow the Spaniard a straight sets victory.
Nadal is now 1,460 points clear of his Swiss rival and world No. 2 Roger Federer in the world rankings and victory over Chung ensured him an unassailable lead before the season ending World Tour Finals in London later this month.
Federer beats del Potro!
Switzerland’s Roger Federer beat Argentine Juan Martin del Potro to win the Swiss Indoors for the eighth time in his illustrious career.
However, the World No. 2 later withdrew from the Paris Masters. Federer’s 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3 win moved him within 1,460 points of Spanish World No. 1 Rafael Nadal before the final regular-season event, but Nadal’s win over Chung took matters out of Federer’s hands to where the World No. 1 crown was to fall.
After a tough and evenly contested match, Federer closed out the match with the minimum of fuss having been made to work hard by an opponent who always tends to bring out his best, and his reward was a 95th career title now just seven behind Jimmy Connors’ all-time record.
Victory for Del Potro would have moved him into the final qualifying place for the ATP finals in London. Having won in Stockholm last week, the World No. 19 was targeting back-to-back titles in Basel but the 29-year-old remains one place behind Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
Del Potro must reach at least the semi-finals in Paris to claim the final spot. It’s a big ask of del Potro but the thought of playing at the ATP finals in London should be a big enough incentive for him.
“It’s unbelievable how well Roger is playing” said Del Potro. “I hope to be in such shape when I’m his age. But I doubt I will be”, said the big serving Argentine.
Wozniacki beats Williams!
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki beat Venus Williams to claim the biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Williams, 37, the oldest woman to ever reach the final in Singapore, lost in straight sets 6-4 6-4. After a tight and evenly contested first set, Wozniacki stormed into a 5-0 lead in the second.
However, the game then erupted into life as Williams then won four straight games but Wozniacki converted her second Championship point to beat the American for the first time in her career. “I couldn’t be happier right now” said a very cheerful Wozniacki.
Fifth seed Williams went into Sunday’s final with a convincing 7-0 record against Wozniacki stretching back to 2007, and having won just one set against the American. The world number five has been in fine form this year and was a finalist at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
However, the American veteran will finish this season without a title after Wozniacki prevented her from regaining the Finals trophy she won nine years ago.
Ranked 74th in the world at the end of last year due to a season interrupted through injury, the Dane has had a super 2017. “It’s been an amazing year. Last year was tough with injuries but I fought my way back and to stand here and win the title means a lot to me”.
2017 will see Simona Halep finish as World No. 1 as she becomes the 25th woman to earn the honour since the computer rankings were introduced in 1975.