Rafael Nadal in race for world No.1 ranking
- Rafael Nadal says it feels great having an opportunity to get back on top
- He will play in the Cincinatti ATP Masters 1000 event
- Then, he will deploy his wit at the US Open
Rafael Nadal says it feels great having an opportunity to reach the top of the ATP rankings once again.
Nadal says this new opportunity is despite his previous belief that this ship already departed. The 22-time Grand Slam champion can get back on top this week at the Western & Southern Open, but only if things go his way.
For the first time since 2017, Nadal will compete in Cincinnati. He is presently ranked third, behind Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.
While Zverev, who won this tournament last year, is injured and unable to defend his championship, the Spaniard has points to defend at the ATP Masters 1000 event. And in 2021, Medvedev advanced to the semifinals.
The World No. 3 says his focus is to stay healthy and play in all events that he wants to play in. But, he will not stretch his body’s limit to stay fit.
“The main thing is to stay healthy and play the events that I want to play. I will not play more than what I believe works well for my body,” Tennis365 reports.
“I am going to put all my efforts into every single event I play. It is something that doesn’t matter if I have the chance to be No 1, but I am happy to be in this position and if it happens, I will be very happy,” he adds.
It means that the 35-year-old will regain the No. 1 ranking if Nadal wins the tournament and Medvedev loses in the quarterfinals. It was in January of 2020 that the Spaniard was last ranked first in the ATP.
For the first time, Nadal withdrew from the 2022 Wimbledon semi-final match against Nick Kyrgios in July. He suffered an abdominal injury which he said matters more than winning a 23rd Grand Slam.
His withdrawal gave the Australian a lifetime chance to play in the finals of a major Grand Slam. But, Kyrgios lost to Novak Djokovic, who bagged his 21st Grand Slam.
Nadal had planned to return to the Canadian Open but opted to stay away to make a full recovery. However, he will be making an appearance at the Cincinnati tournament.
He ultimately expressed confidence that he would be prepared. Nadal is aware that it’s risky since he had a tiny tear in his abdomen. When serving, the abdomen area is the most vulnerable because that’s where all that energy is concentrated, he explains.
Therefore, he will have to slow down and learn how to enjoy the highs safely. He will try to be more cautious but still wants to give his best at the tournament.
Nadal plans to play in the US Open after the Cincinnati Masters, where he will attempt to win a third Grand Slam of the year.
He started the year on a high by winning Australian and French Open titles. Since he never played Kyrgios at Wimbledon, the Spaniard is a perfect 20-0 in majors this year.