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Rafa Edges Novak In Year-End No. 1 Battle

Rome, Italy

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal has moved ahead of Novak Djokovic in the year-end race for No. 1.

The battle for the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking just got hotter.

Rafael Nadal reached a milestone with his quarter-final win over David Ferrer on Friday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The combination of the Mallorcan's win and Novak Djokovic going down to Tomas Berdych has seen Nadal earn more points than Djokovic this season.

Entering Rome, Djokovic had won 130 points more than Nadal in 2013, but with the Serbian bowing out, Nadal has an opportunity to win an additional 690 points should he claim his seventh title at the Foro Italico.

Entering Rome 2R Win 3R Win QF Win SF Win Title
Djokovic 4130 4220 4310 Lost N/A N/A
Nadal 4000 4090 4180 4360 4600 5000

On paper, Djokovic appears to be far ahead of Nadal in the Emirates ATP Rankings with a near 6,000 point lead over the Spaniard. But Djokovic will need to defend deep runs at the remaining three Grand Slam events, his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crown and two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies. Nadal on the other hand, will be in prime position should he retain his Rome and Roland Garros titles, having missed the second half of last season with a left-knee injury that forced him out after a second-round loss at Wimbledon. 

Nadal’s efforts to challenge Djokovic for year-end No. 1 are nothing short of remarkable. Nadal did not make his return from injury until February, causing the 26 year old miss the Australian Open. In Melbourne, Djokovic became the first man in the Open Era to win three successive event crowns and in turn, began his bid for a third straight year-end No. 1 finish by picking up 2,000 points. He also dethroned eight-time reigning champion Nadal in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final and captured his fourth title at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Dubai.

Nadal has put on significant points at every ATP World Tour stop he's made this year by virtue of reaching at least the final in seven straight events to open his season. In addition to his runner-up finish in Monte-Carlo, where he earned 600 points, the Mallorcan triumphed at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Madrid, lifted trophies at ATP World Tour 500 tournaments in Acapulco and Barcelona and the ATP World Tour 250 event in Sao Paulo, and began his comeback in Vina del Mar by advancing to the final. 

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