Rafael Nadal will regain his spot at the top of the ATP rankings

Rafael Nadal will become the new No. 1 even though he missed Miami Open because of a hip injury that also forced him to skip Indian Wells.

After losing to Thanasi Kokkinakis in three sets last night, Roger Federer will lose top spot to our champ when the new rankings come out April 2.

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

As Telegraph reports, Federer has no points to defend on the clay, while Rafa will have to dominate in the way he did last season to avoid slipping back. Unless he successfully defends his title at the Monte Carlo Masters, his reign will end again on April 23, and the see-saw will swing back to Federer.

The most important thing is that Rafa comes back healthy and then there is no doubt he will be able to play his best tennis and show why he is called the King of Clay.


  1. How important is the no. 1 ranking? Only from the point of view of prestige (weeks at no. 1 and current status). But since Federer skips the clay season, Nadal will be no. 1 seed wherever he plays in the clay swing. Apart from that, there is no real difference in being seeded 1 or 2. If you are Federer, you get to play at night and they will close the roof whenever possible (it is just a fact).

    What really matters is winning majors. I’d sign for one major for Nadal this season. RG is his best chance of course. I have a feeling that Federer won’t win Wimbledon. I did not think he was great at all at Aussie Open. He played tomato cans mostly. If Rafa wins RG and Federer loses early at Wimbledon, another year end no. 1 for Nadal is very possible. But I only care about the amount of majors. As do the tennis pros themselves.

    • If Rafa comes back healthy, I think he can surely win more than 1 Slam. It may be more difficult than usual with DelPo and the next gen in the mix, but I think Rafa has a very good chance. At the moment both Stan and possibly JMDP plan to play the FO. I am betting on at least two slams for Rafa.

      You are correct about No. 1. The number of slams is what gets the most attention. Rafa himself said if he plays well the ranking will follow.

      I think this clay season is the most important one in his career. I never heard him say he wants to return to be the best clay-court player in the world, as he did to his Alicante audience. He already is.


  2. Interesting comments; Does it really matter who is number one? I only know I love watching Rafa Nadal play tennis.It is a joy to behold! I have said before and will say again that I feel that whatever he chose to achieve he would succeed in his goals with grace! I just wish he would turn his mind to international politics and shed light on this dark world.

  3. Well done Rafa, and great to see you doing all those relaxing things on Majorca to rest ready for the clay season.

    Yesterday I was looking at all your beautiful photo collection on Twitter.

    What an incredible athlete that you sure are,



    • Hi Beverley, my comment about Rafa regaining the No. 1 spot without striking a ball was meant as irony. Here I am worrying about Rafa coming back too soon from injury and yet he is back as the best in the world while home recuperating. It can’t get better than that.

      From the very beginning I stated there would probably be a “seesaw effect” between these two top players because no one else is close to them in the rankings and that’s what gave me the idea of “seesaw.” Only yesterday I saw the term used in an article.

      I also said, from the very beginning, that it just wouldn’t make sense for Fed to play clay; he hasn’t played clay for years and his priorities are Wimby and staying injury free. In an interview Fed, said he would love to play Rafa on clay in best out of five but made it clear his chances of beating Rafa on clay was highly unlikely because Rafa is the best on clay in the history of the game. I posted parts of the interview here not long ago. I enjoy debate but before one can debate facts are needed. Some come here and post a lot of crap. They don’t bother doing any reading and post the most ridiculous things. Someone accused Fed of doping. In fact, Fed, Rafa, and Andy each were tested a total of 14 [or more] times in 2017 both during and out of competition. I found the list on the Internet. The number could be 17 instead of 14, I don’t remember. If you consider there are only 12 months in a year, it means they were all tested at least 2 times in 1 month.

      As far as No. 1 is concerned, I am happy for Rafa because it makes him happy. What I want is a healthy Rafa. If he stays healthy he can win and be number one. His 2016 wrist injury opened my eyes to what extent he will go to play.

      Rafa does have a lot of points to defend but his health will dictate what he will be able to accomplish. As you, I too am hoping for another fantastic clay season and beyond.

      On DelPo, I hope his body holds up. He won vs Nishikori in 2 sets in a short match so that should help him going in on Tuesday.

      I have seen plenty of pictures of Rafa since Mexico and his smile is as big as ever. I hope he is enjoying his time away not having to think about his next opponent.


  4. I am absolutely thrilled that Rafa is number one again. I hope he will be completely recovered by the time the French open starts. My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary and going to the French open, and I’m hoping so much that we will be able to see Rafa play. He is the most humble athlete ever, and has been my favorite player forever. It is a thrill to watch him play. He is the best!!!

  5. Congratulations Rafa You Derve To Be Back At Number 1 Tennis Men’s Player In The World. You Are The Most Respected Player Very Humble King Of Clay With Your French Open Record.

  6. SORRY!!! I DO NOT (NOT WISH TO SUBSCRIBE!!!……MARGARET WALLACE TAKE MY NAME OFF YOUR EMAIL LIST!!!! thank you!!!! ===========================================  

  7. I LOVE RAFA!!! I want him to be No.1. I want him to win all the time.

    More importantly, I want him to do whatever is necessary to stay healthy. With great health he may be around longer and this is my wish for him–great health and the ability to win more matches. As long as he wants to play, I want him to be able to.

  8. I am happy that Rafa will regain his number one ranking, but would rather see him healthy and playing. I really hope that he will be back soon since tennis is less exciting without him. The problem with winning so much last clay season is that Rafa will have to defend 4680 points. Trying to be positive about Rafa’s year, maybe he will be less tired during the second half of the year?

  9. Before some of you fans beat up on Rafa again when he doesn’t play the way you want him to play, here are some sobering words from Nole which I think you should take into consideration.

    In attempting to play with injury for so long, “I compromised my game and the movement and everything….I’m trying to figure things out.”

    JMDP also said because of his injuries he had to change the way he plays.

    Pain and injury can have profound effects on how a champion must revise things in order to stay in the game.


    • margo,

      are his injuries the reason that rafa has stop using the forehand down the line in a way he did couple years ago. Forehand down the line is a main aspect of his game.

      • mjus, if you have the statistics from 5 or even ten years ago to support your proposition, I think that is a question for Rafa, as only he would know. I won’t speculate on this.

        The game has changed so much since 2005, when I first started watching him in action. If he is in fact playing his forehands down the line less than before, it could be for any amount of reasons.

        I think Rafa’s forehand is still a formidable weapon; he hits winners from any position on the court. He’s just sooo awesome, IMHO.

        My comment was only to bring to mind how injured athletes change the way they do things to stay competitive and keep winning.

        Rafa is not only the King of Clay, he is also a true master at his craft. No matter what loses or injuries he has been through he “fights to improve.” I just wish he would rest his body a little more which could cut down on injuries, win him more slams, and lengthen his career.

        RAFA ROCKS

  10. del Potro on ranking:

    “I always say the ranking number doesn’t change or doesn’t mean much to me. I was No. 1,000 few years ago, and now I’m No. 6. I have good chances to keep growing up, but I’m not thinking about that [ranking]. I’m enjoying to play tennis again. I like to play tennis in front of all my fans here in Miami and not think this too much.”

    After Miami, JMDP intends to take a break; he will then decide which clay tournament to play. He revealed his is tired and starting to feel the effects of back-to-back tournaments. As far as he is concerned, body comes first.

    Good luck in Miami delPo.

  11. Rafa regained No. 1 without striking a ball and great for him.

    I’d rather a healthy body. You know what the facts are…no healthy body means no number one. To be on top you have to be healthy.


    • Margo, Rafa has certainly gained number1 without striking a ball but the same can happen with Roger during the clay season. Roger has said he will not play in the clay season but Rafa has so many points to defend that Roger could also become number 1 without striking a ball. In fact the number 1 position could see-saw back and forth between them for the greater part of the year.
      Like you, I would prefer to see Rafa rest his body more and stay healthy rather than thinking of number 1.
      Del Potro has said he intends to take a break for a while now as his body is tiring from playing back to back tournaments so he is thinking healthwise rather than ranking.
      I do wish Rafa would do the same. He says his health is his main concern but he pushes himself into practice too soon after an injury and his body protests.
      He will need to be fit and. healthy to achieve everything he achieved in the 2017 clay season .
      But come what may, win or lose, I will always be a dedicated Rafa fan

      • Beverley, there is an update today on JMDP. According the the Express he may not play clay because he wants to play Wimby. [The Express] I am looking for confirmation because I have found The Express’ articles written in a style to engender controversy.


    • Margo tour comments often slyly denigrating Nadal before ending with a Rafa rocks makes me wonder if you are a true or fake Rafa fan.

      I proud myself on being a Rafa fan who does not care about his ranking and how he received it. I just want him to remain long enough healthy so I can continue to watch his ‘mesmerising’ tennis, and I certainly do not pretend to any other comments or analysis.

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