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Nadal Receives ATP No. 1 Ranking Trophy

Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesSpanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal received the ATP No. 1 ranking trophy in front of a sell-out crowd on Pista Central at the Mutua Madrilena Masters Madrid on Sunday. It is the Spaniard’s first ATP tournament since becoming World No. 1 on August 18.

Madrid Tournament Director Manolo Santana, a four-time Grand Slam champion, presented the trophy to Nadal on behalf of the ATP.

The ceremony was shown live on TVE, the Spanish national broadcaster and was also distributed to all international agencies and broadcasters by TPL.

Nadal replaced Switzerland’s Roger Federer, who held the ATP World No. 1 ranking for a record 237 weeks (from February 2, 2004) on August 18.

The Mallorca native is the 24th player in the history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973) to hold the No. 1 position in the official rankings in men's tennis.

He joined countrymen Carlos Moya (1999) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003) to rank No. 1. Nadal is also the fifth left-hander to rank No. 1, the first since Chilean Marcelo Rios in 1998. Other left-handers to hold the top position are Austrian Thomas Muster (1996), and Americans John McEnroe (1980) and Jimmy Connors (1974).

Nadal, the 2005 Madrid champion (d. Ljubicic), is playing in his first tournament since reaching the semifinals at the US Open last month (l. to Murray). The 22-year-old Mallorcan could wrap up the year-end No. 1 ranking in Madrid depending on his and Federer�s results this week. He enters with an ATP-best 77-9 match record (27-4 in ATP Masters Series play) and eight titles.

Nadal will meet Latvian Ernests Gulbis in his opening match in Madrid.

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