After reaching the top spot in the ATP rankings for the first time in two years, Rafael Nadal (Player Info) looks to put the icing on an outstanding season with a chance to break the record for Masters titles in a year still on the cards.
After seven months out of the game, Nadal’s recovery has been nothing short of miraculous with two slam titles and five Masters’ won already this year. A win in either Shanghai this week or Paris-Bercy would see him become the first player to win six Masters titles in a year.
The Spaniard remains highly motivated by the opportunity to be year end No.1 saying “If I am able to be number one at the end of the season, then that’s an important achievement because I will be the best of the year, that’s something that really motivates me.”
A 64-4 record has seen 10 titles for Nadal with long unbeaten runs sandwiched between shock losses to Horacio Zeballos and Steve Darcis as well as two defeats to Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo and Beijing last week. The most recent Djokovic was his first on hard courts this year and put an end to a 21 match winning streak.
“This is a great year, one of the best years of my career without any doubt,” said Nadal.
“It sure is special to be back to the top position of the rankings after more than a half-year without playing tennis.”
It was Djokovic that set the record for Masters titles in a year, with his extraordinary 2011 seeing him pick up 5 of the 9 titles available.