Can Nadal be number 1 in 2017

Rafael Nadal crowns his comeback with the number 1

Rafael Nadal's comeback was spectacular, yet it was overshadowed by Roger Federer's renaissance. Now the Spaniard will be number 1 again in the world rankings - for how long?

Last October, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer met in Manacor, Mallorca, for the opening of the Spaniard's tennis academy. The two of them couldn't even hit a few balls as intended. Federer was working on his comeback after his meniscus injury, Nadal had recently decided to end the season prematurely because of the persistent wrist inflammation.

"A lot has happened since I was last in this position."

Now Nadal will return to the top of the world rankings next Monday after more than three years, and Federer is the only one who can prevent him from finishing the season there as far as humanly possible. Before his first match in Cincinnati on Wednesday against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, the 31-year-old said it was an indescribable feeling to be number 1 again. “A lot has happened since I was last in this position. I was hurt and had tough moments. But I have never lost my love and passion for the game. Otherwise I would not have come back. "

Comprehensive medical record

Nadal's medical record is far thicker than that of its long-standing competitor. He was bruised or injured more than a dozen times, and how often he played with pain, not even he himself can reliably say. Quite a few doubted in the autumn that Nadal would return at all.

His comeback was all the more spectacular: Nadal has won four tournaments so far this season, including his tenth title in Roland-Garros. He reached three more finals, in Melbourne and Miami he failed each to Federer.

Nadal's comeback was overshadowed by Federer's renaissance. It is therefore not without symbolism that Federer's forfait for the tournament in Cincinnati has cleared Nadal's way back to the top. Nadal has won 40 points more than Federer in the first seven months of the season. With a win in Cincinnati, he could temporarily distance the 36-year-old from Basel by a good 1000 points.

He's enjoying the moment

Deciding who is number 1 at the end of the season will probably be the US Open, which starts a week from Monday. Federer has won both Grand Slam tournaments this season in which he has participated. With a third major title it would be difficult to dispute number 1. Nadal doesn't waste too much thought on it for the time being. He's enjoying the moment.