September 23, 2019
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French Open success favorites Nadal over Djokovic in race for year-end No.1

 Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning the men'Äôs final match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, June 9, 2019. EPA-EFE/SRDJAN SUKI

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning the men'Äôs final match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, June 9, 2019. EPA-EFE/SRDJAN SUKI

Madrid, Jun 10 (efe-epa).- Spanish star Rafael Nadal’s record-extending 12th French Open title has put him on top of the Race to London, an annual ranking that qualifies the top-eight to the ATP finals.

After taking part in nine tournaments this year, Nadal collected 5,505 points in the ATP Race to London, 780 points more than Djokovic who was eliminated by Austria’s Dominic Thiem after a five-set semifinal match in Paris.

“It is the third consecutive year in which Nadal has led the Race after the season’s second Grand Slam, and he has fittingly won the title on the Parisian terre battue on each occasion," the ATP explained on its website.

"This sets the stage for what could be an exciting battle for the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking,” the ATP added.

Nadal’s 12th French Open title strengthens his position in his bid to end the year as No. 1 for the fifth time, after 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2017.

He would tie with Djokovic, Switzerland’s Roger Federer and US Jimmy Connors in holding the second-most year-end No. 1 rankings, trailing US Pete Sampras, who has a record of six year-end finishes.

Nadal, who has a 32-5 ATP match win-loss record in this season, is getting closer to advancing into the Nitto ATP Finals for the 15th consecutive year.

After his three-hour-and-one-minute battle in Paris 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, the 33-year-old Nadal broke a tie with Australia's Margaret Court, who won the Australian Open 11 times between 1960 and 1973.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion also closed the gap with Federer - the most successful male player in Grand Slam history with 20 titles - as the second-most decorated player in the majors.

Meanwhile, Djokovic continued to lead the men's ATP world singles rankings, with Nadal in second place.

Federer, who was knocked out by Nadal in the semifinals, remained in the third spot, ahead of Thiem and Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

Karen Khachanov of Russia climbed two positions to the ninth, while Italy’s Fabio Fognini rose to 10th.

The current top-10 ATP rankings and point scores are as follows:

1. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 12,715 points

2. Rafael Nadal (Spain) 7,945

3. Roger Federer (Switzerland) 6,670

4. Dominic Thiem (Austria) 4,685

5. Alexander Zverev (Germany) 4,360

6. Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) 4,215

7. Kei Nishikori (Japan) 4,040

8. Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 3,565

9. Karen Khachanov (Russia) 2,980

10. Fabio Fognini (Italy) 2,785.

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