Rafael Nadal keeps year-end No. 1 chances while staying at home

Rafael Nadal maintains year-end No. 1 chances while staying at home

Rafael Nadal is back in the top-2 for the first time since May last year. The Spaniard missed a chance to claim the ATP throne after the US Open and has led the ATP race since the start of the season before losing it to Carlos Alcaraz after New York.

The 22-time Major winner claimed two notable titles this season to overtake Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and top the charts. However, Nadal missed a chance to add more points to his tally, skipping Monte Carlo and Barcelona and battling on his beloved clay in Madrid and Rome.

Rafa failed to earn 720 points for the Wimbledon semi-final and suffered an abdominal injury at the All England Club. Nadal left London with a seven millimeter muscle tear and only played one match before the US Open. Feeling stomach ache again, Rafa beat three rivals in New York before losing to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round.

Rafael Nadal will take advantage of his rival’s early losses.

Thus, the Spaniard left the door open for Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud to get past him and fight for the trophy and a Major crown. Alcaraz left New York as the seventh youngest Major winner after beating Ruud in four sets, adding 2000 points to his tally and becoming the youngest world No. 1.

1. Carlos is 650 points clear of Rafa in the ATP race and looking good to end the season on top. While Nadal is still recovering from an injury and is likely to miss all events leading up to the Paris Masters, Alcaraz and Ruud had a chance to earn valuable points at the ATP 500 events in Astana and Tokyo.

Instead, Nadal emerges as the winner from this week’s tournaments, despite staying at home as both his rivals were eliminated early! The Norwegian lost to Jaume Munar in Tokyo while the young Spaniard lost to David Goffin in Astana.

Going into the main draw as a lucky loser, Goffin took his chance against the world’s best player, defeating him 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 46 minutes. The Belgian prevailed in the first set and sealed the deal in the second, advancing to the second round and delivering the Spaniard’s first straight-set defeat of 2022.

David saved seven out of ten break points and converted half of the return points into five breaks that carried him home. Alcaraz and Nadal are still year-end no. 1 favorite despite not having an impressive record in indoor events.

Both players are set to rest for the next two weeks and Carlos has another chance to extend the lead over Rafa in Basel in the last week of October. If Nadal recovers, he will do his best to chase the sixth number at the end of the year. 1 honor in Paris and Turin, although he never won those tournaments.

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