Rafa's return to world No 1 'unbelievable'

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-23 07:18

PARIS - Rafael Nadal described as "unbelievable" his climb back to the world No 1 spot for the first time in three years, as confirmed in the ATP rankings released on Monday.

The Spaniard, who learned he was going to reclaim the top spot a week ago, last topped the men's charts in July 2014.

The 31-year-old, who won his 15th Grand Slam title at the French Open in June, deposes Britain's Andy Murray, who withdrew from tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati with a hip injury.

Nadal, who previously spent 141 weeks in the top spot, has struggled with knee injuries since first becoming No 1 in August 2008.

Rafa's return to world No 1 'unbelievable'

He has admitted doubting he would ever return as world No 1 after so many years.

"Being No 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something that's really unbelievable," he said on Monday.

Knocked out in the Cincinnati quarterfinals last week by Australian Nick Kyrgios, Nadal had slipped to as low as 13th in the ATP rankings midway through 2015.

His return to the top, one week before the closing Grand Slam of the season at the US Open, was hailed by Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president.

"To regain the No 1 ranking nine years after having first reached it is unprecedented," Kermode said.

"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."

Kyrgios' progress to last Sunday's Cincinnati final earned him a five-rung rise to No 18, with the man who beat him, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, breaking into the top 10 in 9th.

In the WTA Tour singles rankings, Cincinnati champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain climbed three places to third.

The Wimbledon champion beat Simona Halep in Sunday's final, thwarting the Romanian's bid to overhaul Karolina Pliskova as world No 1.

Betting probe

Suspicious betting patterns involving Ukraine's former top 20 player Alexandr Dolgopolov in his match last weekend at the Winstom-Salem ATP tournament has prompted the Tennis Integrity Unity (TIU) to investigate.

Dolgopolov, currently ranked No 63 but who reached a career-high No 13 in January 2012, lost 6-3, 6-3 to the Brazilian, who is ranked 114th, in their firstround clash.

The TIU was alerted because the 28-year-old Ukrainian's odds drifted spectacularly before the match got underway with some bookmakers going so far as to suspend their market on the tie.

"The Tennis Integrity Unit was made aware of concerns over betting patterns during the match between Alexandr Dolgopolov and Thiago Monteiro at the ATP World Tour event in Winston-Salem, USA, on Sunday, August 20," read the TIU statement.

"As with all match alerts, the TIU will assess, make a judgment and take appropriate action on the information received through its cooperative agreements with betting operators."

The TIU is in the midst of investigating three possible cases in England - two qualifying ties for Wimbledon and one at the Grand Slam event itself.

The TIU is at pains to stress alerts do not mean that the games were fixed and their painstaking investigations can take anything from weeks to months.

Agence France-presse


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