WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2013
Djokovic Declares Nadal Best Player Of 2013
by ATP Staff
© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal has won eight titles this year.
has declared Rafael Nadal
the best player of 2013 so far, an assessment backed up by hard numbers. Nadal has earned 1,500 Emirates ATP Rankings points more than any other player this year despite missing the first month of the season. That has the Spaniard leading a three-way battle with the Serb and Scotland's Andy Murray
to claim the coveted year-end No. 1 ranking.
"Rafa since he's come back has been the best player in the world, no question about it," Djokovic told ESPN after his third round victory at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The World No. 1 said he sees improvements in Nadal's game since the Spaniard missed seven months last year with a knee injury. "I think he's more aggressive," said Djokovic, pointing to their semi-final match in Montreal last week, which was won by Nadal in three sets. "He was very aggressive, stepping in, variety in the game -- but it was still a very close match," the Serb added.
Djokovic also feels that the rivalry between him, Nadal, Roger Federer
and Andy Murray
has helped each of them improve. "We are all pushing each other to the limit," he said.
Nadal, who finished year-end No. 1 in 2008 and 2010, has won eight titles - including Roland Garros
and four ATP World Tour Masters 1000s - and reached two other finals in 11 events this year.