Rafael Nadal creates history with year-ending world number one ranking

Rafael Nadal

But he roared past the competition at Roland Garros before landing his 16th Slam in NY and he will now look to end his season on a high in Paris-Bercy before heading to London for the ATP World Tour Finals.

"It was impossible for me to think about (being No. 1) coming back from a tough period without playing, and with so many injuries in the last couple of years", said Nadal, who also finished as No. 1 in '08 and '10.

Nadal's fourth finish atop the ATP rankings makes him the seventh man to accomplish the feat.

It has been a stunning year for the 31-year-old, who won the French Open for the tenth time, as well as winning the US Open and reaching the final of the Australian Open.

"It has been an incredible year".

"And missing this tournament Bercy that I love, which is played in a city that I love too, costs me a lot".

But with Federer forced to withdraw from Paris, Nadal needed just one more win to finish as number one.


Federer has beaten Nadal in four consecutive matches and the 19-time major singles champion was in outside contention for the number one ranking before pulling out of Paris to focus on the season-ending ATP Finals in London next week.

The 21-year-old Chung put up a courageous fight at the Bercy Arena, but a fired-up Nadal proved too hot to handle.

Chung broke Nadal back in the ninth game of the first set and held for 5-5. The Majorquain will play Pablo Cuevas in the knockout stages.

Earlier on Wednesday, fourth seed Alexander Zverev was dumped out by Dutchman Robin Haase in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 second-round defeat. During that stretch, Nadal also won two Masters 1000 crowns (Monte Carlo and Madrid), as well as the 500-level tournament in Barcelona.

Bulgarian world number eight Grigor Dimitrov, who has already booked his ticket for the Tour Finals, knocked out French favourite Richard Gasquet with a straightforward 6-4, 6-4 win.

Frenchman Lucas Pouille kept alive his slim chances of qualifying for London with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Feliciano Lopez, but No. 12 Kevin Anderson's chances took a dent after a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 loss to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

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