Visit the new MSN
Updated: Mon, 07 Oct 2013 09:48:00 GMT

Nadal: Now to stay at number one

Rafael Nadal returned to the top of the men's world rankings for the first time in three years and he is determined to remain there until 2014.


Nadal: Now to stay at number one

Nadal: Now to stay at number one

Rafael Nadal returned to the top of the men's world rankings for the first time in three years and he is determined to remain there until 2014.

The Spaniard had slipped to as low as number five in the world in 2012 after missing the bulk of the season due to a knee injury, but he came back in stunning fashion this year to win 10 titles, including the French and US Opens.

Although he lost Sunday's China Open final against Novak Djokovic, victory in the semi-finals at this weekend's China Open ensured he would reclaim the top spot in the men's rankings from his Serb rival.

Now that he is finally back to his best, Nadal is hoping to keep the number one place for the foreseeable future.

"[It] will be a great finish [to] the season if I am able to finish the season [at] the No 1 spot," he said in Beijing.

"For that, I am sure I need to win more matches if I want to be there."

He added: "Celebrations are for the end of the season, not before. [It] is not my time for celebrations, it's time [to] keep being focused. The season is not over, my work is not over."

Nadal lost 6-3 6-4 in Sunday's final against Djokovic and despite the loss, he is delighted to be back playing tennis.

"That is what motivates me and makes me happy, that I am able to be on the tour again and enjoying important matches like I played today with a great atmosphere out there, full crowd, big stadium. Something that I missed a lot for seven months," he said.

"I was able for the last seven or eight months to play very often in these circumstances, so that's very special every time I have that chance. I'm enjoying that situation."

More Sport

  • Janowicz survives Mannarino test

    Poland's Jerzy Janowicz came from a set down to beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 2-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 in the first round of the Moselle Open in Metz.

  • Groves ready to move on from Froch saga

    George Groves is viewing his upcoming world title eliminator against Frenchman Christopher Rebrasse as even more important than his recent duels with Carl Froch.

  • Valverde extends with Movistar

    Alejandro Valverde has signed a three-year contract extension with Movistar, keeping him at the team until the end of 2017.

  • Cibulkova back to winning ways

    Dominika Cibulkova started on a positive note at the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Tuesday when she beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-3 the earthquake hit Tokyo.

  • Top seeds fall in Guangzhou

    Yafan Wang knocked out top seed Sam Stosur at the Guangzhou International Women's Open on Tuesday.

  • Eugene Laverty off to MotoGP next year

    Eugene Laverty will swap the Superbike World Championship for the MotoGP grid next season.

  • Del Potro delays comeback

    Juan Martin del Potro has delayed his return to tennis, saying that his wrist needs more time heal.

  • Radwanska through in Seoul

    Top seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Karolina Pliskova both advanced to the second round of the Kia Korea Open in Seoul, South Korea on Tuesday.