Despite playing only one match since his win at Flushing Meadows earlier in September (a match that happened to be an important David Cup victory), Rafael Nadal (Player Bio) is energised and ready to storm his way through the remains of the 2013 season.
Rafa returned from a seven-month lay-off in February this year, and despite a blip at Wimbledon he has virtually been unstoppable, claiming 10 titles and amassing a 61-3 record. He’s even nipping at the heels of Roger Federer’s (Player Bio) current record of 17 Grand Slam titles.
However it’s not just his former rival that Nadal is set to surpass this season, he could very well overtake current World Number 1 Novak Djokovic (Player Bio) in the end of year rankings. Rafa, who beat Djoko in the French Open semis and the US Open final, could overtake the Serb with a strong performance at this week’s China Open in Beijing.
Humble as ever when quoted as saying that “it will be very tough to become Number One” Nadal remains realistic about his chances though – “ If I am still playing the same way that I have the past couple of months, I hope to have my chance here or in the next few weeks. I am completing a great season. I’m playing one of the best seasons of my career. That’s why I’m in a good position in the rankings and I had great successes in the important tournaments.”
Many tennis fans believe that re-claiming the top spot is a foregone conclusion for Rafa, and even Djokovic himself has agreed with them, although not necessarily in so many words! “With no doubt (Nadal) has had the best results this year,” Djokovic admitted recently, before going on to claim that Rafa has “been the best player in the world” and admitting that he has “been having ups and downs throughout this year.”