Rafael Nadal Could Set Record With No. 1 Ranking As First Player To Get Top Spot After Being Ranked Number One Three Years Prior (SWR Commentary)

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Sep 10, 2013 11:46 AM EDT
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Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their men's final match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York, September 9."

Rafael Nadal has won the US Open for the second time in his career and after his career was nearly derailed by a knee injury, the Spanish star is back on top of the tennis world after defeating Novak Djokovic on Monday night in four sets.

The match was a battle of the wills for both players and after Nadal won the first set, Djokovic was able to bounce back with the help of a 54-shot rally and then in the third, everything changed. Nadal was down 15-40 and after coming back to win the game, he put Djokovic away after things were tied 4-4, winning the set 6-4 and then taking the final set 6-1 to win the championship for the second time in his career and to put him third all-time in slam titles.

The three hour match was tough for both sides and it appeared at one point that Djokovic was going to take over after winning four straight breaks after Nadal allowed just one all tournament, but he was never rattled and now he is champion again. Their rivalry is starting to look like one of the best ever, as they have played nearly 40 times and the win for Nadal gave him a few extra millions in prize money and may also get him back the number one ranking after he has been undefeated on hard courts and also won the Franch Open.

According to the ATP, who keeps the rankings, Nadal may set history, as he could be the first player ever to finish the year at number one three years after last doing it in the year end rankings. According to the ATP, Nadal could end up becoming the first player it finish the year number one three years after last doing it, as it happened back 2010 after he also did in 2008. That would best both Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer by a year and would come after he spent 46 weeks in the top spot during that run.

Nadal is now 22-0 on hard courts this year and he has been fantastic since coming back from his knee injury and he looked better than ever on Monday night. Nadal and Djokovic made some amazing rallies together, sustaining 50 and 40 shot rallies in different spots, tiring out both players immensely. Nadal is the best player ever and while many feel that Federer is the one who has that title, Nadal's game puts him above because he can play on every surface.

Go Rafa as he tries to finish the year number one again.

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