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Nadal Chases History In Shanghai

Shanghai, China

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesAfter a runner-up finish in Beijing, Rafael Nadal seeks his sixth Masters 1000 title of 2013 in Shanghai.

Rafael Nadal has compiled an impressive streak at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in 2013. As he enters the Shanghai Rolex Masters, the Spaniard could become the first player to win six ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in one year.

“I hope to be ready for Shanghai,” he said on Sunday in Beijing. “It's an important tournament, one of the most important of the season because it's a Masters 1000 – you need to play against best players even in the first rounds.”

Nadal, who is 29-1 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in 2013, is seeking his first Shanghai Rolex Masters trophy. He reached the final in 2009 (l. to Davydenko).

At the China Open, Nadal finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic. Even with the loss, the Spaniard vaults into the No. 1 position in the Emirates ATP Rankings, ousting Djokovic from the top spot. Nadal had not held the No. 1 ranking since July 2011.

The next few weeks will prove important to the 26-time Masters 1000 champion, as he is strongly favoured to finish as the year-end No. 1. “I’m going to be in the top of the rankings for a few weeks. I need to keep playing well to try to finish No. 1 at the end of the season,” Nadal stated.

Read About Rafa's Return to No. 1

Nadal, who has earned 10 ATP World Tour titles this season, far exceeded his expectations at the beginning of 2013. He was focused on rehabilitating his left knee, injured during Wimbledon 2012. Nadal was off the tour for seven months.

“When you are injured at home, you can’t think about coming back and playing 13 finals in 14 tournaments. You never think about something like this,” Nadal reflected.

The left-hander’s return to the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings caps off an emotional year. “I am [at the top] and it’s something special for me,” said Nadal. “I'm enjoying the situation. I'm playing one of the best seasons of my career and probably one of the more emotional ones, too.

“I’m just so happy for everything. I try to keep working hard. I’m going to try to keep playing and keep working on the things that gave me the success during most of the tournaments of this year,” Nadal said. “[Competition] is what motivates me and makes me happy. I’m happy that I am able to be on the tour again.”

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