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Rafael Nadal begins his fourth stint at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 21 August 2017.

Nadal Starts Fourth Stint At No. 1 In Emirates ATP Rankings

Spaniard returns to the summit for first time since July 2014

Almost nine years to the day since he first became No. 1, Spain’s Rafael Nadal today returned to the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings for his fourth stint at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis. Nadal, who has already spent 141 total weeks at No. 1, replaces Great Britain’s Andy Murray, who had held the top spot for 41 weeks since 7 November 2016.

Nadal, who first ascended to No. 1 on 18 August 2008 at the age of 22, last held top spot three years and 45 days ago on 6 July 2014. The Spaniard will now look to stay ahead of his great Swiss rival Roger Federer and finish atop the year-end Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 2013 and for the fourth time in his career (2008, 2010, 2013).

"Being No. 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something unbelievable, so [it] is, for me, an amazing achievement to be back to that position after [a] few years, three years," said Nadal.

View Latest Emirates ATP Rankings

The 31-year-old Nadal has spent three previous stints at No. 1 – 46 weeks between 18 August 2008 and 5 July 2009, 56 weeks from 7 June 2010 to 3 July 2011 and 39 weeks between 7 October 2013 and 6 July 2014. He holds the record for the longest gap – nine years and three days – between his debut at No. 1 and his return today, which betters the previous mark of American Jimmy Connors, who was first No. 1 on 29 July 1974 and last at No. 1 on 3 July 1983 – a gap of eight years and 339 days.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, "To regain the No. 1 ranking nine years after having first reached it is unprecedented. Rafa has been setting records throughout his remarkable career and this one is as impressive as any. It shows incredible dedication and longevity, and we congratulate him on this amazing achievement."

The Spanish superstar, who ended the 2016 season early due to a wrist injury, has returned in 2017 playing some of the best tennis of his career. In compiling an ATP World Tour-best 49-9 match record, Nadal has captured four trophies this season, including historic 10th titles at Roland Garros (d. Wawrinka), the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Ramos-Vinolas) and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Thiem), in addition to a fifth crown at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Thiem). He has also reached three other finals – the Australian Open (l. to Federer), Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco (l. to Querrey) and the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Federer).

On 12 June, Nadal became the first player to qualify for the 2017 season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November. It is the 13th straight year that he has qualified for the elite eight-player tournament.

THE NUMBER ONES
A list in chronological order of the 26 players who have ranked No. 1 in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since 1973):

Player Date Reached Age Tot. Weeks
Andy Murray (GBR) 7 November 2016 29 41
Novak Djokovic (SRB) 4 July 2011 24 223
Rafael Nadal (ESP) 18 August 2008 22 142 (as of 21 August 2017)
Roger Federer (SUI) 2 February 2004 22 302
Andy Roddick (USA) 3 November 2003 21 13
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 8 September 2003 23 8
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 19 November 2001 20 80
Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) 4 December 2000 24 43
Marat Safin (RUS) 20 November 2000 20 9
Patrick Rafter (AUS) 26 July 1999 26 1
Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS) 3 May 1999 25 6
Carlos Moya (ESP) 15 March 1999 22 2
Marcelo Rios (CHI) 30 March 1998 22 6
Thomas Muster (AUT) 12 February 1996 28 6
Andre Agassi (USA) 10 April 1995 24 101
Pete Sampras (USA) 12 April 1993 21 286
Jim Courier (USA) 10 February 1992 21 58
Boris Becker (GER) 28 January 1991 23 12
Stefan Edberg (SWE) 13 August 1990 24 72
Mats Wilander (SWE) 12 September 1988 24 20
Ivan Lendl (CZE) 28 February 1983 22 270
John McEnroe (USA) 3 March 1980 21 170
Bjorn Borg (SWE) 23 August 1977 21 109
Jimmy Connors (USA) 29 July 1974 21 268
John Newcombe (AUS) 3 June 1974 30 8
Ilie Nastase (ROM) 23 August 1973 27 40