Rafael Nadal to replace Novak Djokovic as world number one

Photo by Chicco Nacion | @cbcsports

Rafael Nadal will return to the world number one spot after Stefanos Tsitsipas recovered from a slow start to record the biggest match win of his career against Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in Shanghai.

With the loss, Djokovic trails Rafa (9,225) by 1,280 points in the 2019 ATP Race To London and the battle for year-end No. 1.

The Serb has opted not to play in Vienna or Basel, meaning he will drop 1600 points, elevating Rafa to world number one in the first week of November regardless of results in the final Masters of the year in Paris.

103 comments

  1. I like Rafa as he is very honest and good person and wish him all the best for the wedding ,long and healthy life with his wife, however as I am a furious Nole’s fan ,l hope and really believe that Nole will regain his numero uno ,number one, after WTF which means Rafa will have just one more week as the number one, please don’t take me wrong Rafa’s fans but Nole is the best.

    • If Rafa ends the season as world No. 1, he will have met his objective. That is the point.

      As a Rafa fan I am well aware that the #1 spot plays musical chairs so whether he is No. 1 or some other number makes no difference to me. I love his style of play, his sportsmanship, and appreciate him for his good values.

      You will not see me on a Djokovic fan site to brag about Rafa being No. 1. Just too silly.

      RAFA ROCKS

    • By the way, this is the Rafael Nadal Fans website. What are you doing here? A wolf in sheep’s clothing? Just for arguments sake, the way I compare sportsmen, whatever the sport is, is this – Rafa, Roger, Novak and indulge me when I include Pete Sampras in the mix. If either of these players were to take a shot to win the championship, and all four bring their A-game on the day, i.e. no injury/ies and no unfair advantages given to any player, I’d go for Rafa and Pete. I see the will of steel in both players , not unlike that of Michael Jordan.

      • Agree totally Fiona! Roger and Pete have weapons galore and beautiful shotmaking, Novak is a great returner, Rafa’s tennis IQ and problem-solving is second to none. I used to like Roger but when I see the fear in his eyes, I almost always am right that he won’t make it when the chips are down. Rafa and Pete are clutch players: Rafa goes about it with Spanish passion while Pete is as cool as a cucumber. Pete sometime slaps the ball around (comment made by Jim Courier at the Australian Open) and occasionally gives away points, even games. But at the business end of the set, you can almost see the decisionn in his body language- time to break. So arrogant but one can only do this when one is brilliant.and the capability to do it. Yes – Pete and Rafa are clutch players.Ask their contemporaries – they’re the best judge as they’re at the receiving end of Pete’s second-serve aces, running forehand winners, net play and overhead smashes & Rafa’s incredibly heavy shots, lasso-shots and winners on both sides even at the net a plus the variety of set plays to counter a love 40 position

  2. Why don’t I see anything about this ranking on ATP website?

    Just stay healthy Rafa and try to win the WTF for once champ!

    Meanwhile Medvedev has won Shanghai. Seriously this guy is amazing. Which makes it even more awesome that Rafa is the one to have stopped him twice already.

    Stay safe champ!

    • Because Rafa won’t be #1 until Nov 4 when Djokovic’s points from last year’s WTF and Paris come off his ranking. Even if Djokovic wins Paris this year it won’t be enough to keep him at #1.

  3. WI……..WI……….WI………AND CI…………CI…………CI……..VAMOS SWEETHEART AND CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BRILLIANT EFFORTS AND MAGICAL FANTASTIC VICTORIES EARNING YOU WORLD NUMBER ONE TENNIS GENIUS RANKING…….!!!!!!:) WE JUST VIEWED YOUR US OPEN FINAL 44 MINUTES HIGHLIGHTS AND WE WERE DEEPLY MOVED BY YOUR SHEER BRILLIANCE AND HARD WORK AND DEAR RAFA…. .YOU ARE SOMETHING SPECIAL……WAY BEYOND ANYTHING IN TENNIS HISTORY……..GOAT!!!!
    GOAT!!!!!!! GOAT!!!!!!!! VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND ADMIRE YOUR SKILLFUL BLESSED TALANT … .WORDS NEVER DO JUSTICE DESCRIBING YOUR PRECIOUS DETRMINATION AND CLASS AND PASSION AND FIGHTING SPIRIT!!!!!!:) SO BEAUTIFUL SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!:) SEEING YOU MOVE SO BRILLIANTLY AND IN SUCH ROYALLY PRESENCE…. OUTSTANDING!!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOUR PHYSICAL STRENGTH AND SPEEDY COURT COVERAGE!!!!!!:) STANDING SOLID AND MIGHTY IN THE FINALS FULLY COMMENDING PLAYING A YOUNG 23 YEARS OLD AND FINDING PRECIOUS WAY TO BE VICTORIOUS …….OUT OF THIS WORLD SWEETHEART!!!!!:) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) OUR RESPECT FOR YOUR BRIILIANCE AND HARD WORK AND FITNESS AND TANACITY AND PASSION AND CLASSY BEAUTIFUL TENNIS IS BEYOND MEASURE……YOU ARE IT IN TENNIS….BEST FEISTY TENNUS STAR ON ALL SURFACES….. CONGRATULATUINS SWEETHEART FOR ALL THAT GORGEOUS SUCCESS AND YOUR ENORMOUS EFFORTS AND YOUR BLESSED ATTITUDE….FORTITTUDE…. AND STRIDE FORWARD!!!!!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART AND BEST WISHES AND LOTS OF JOY ON YOUR UPCOMING UNION WITH YOUR PARTNER:) CONGRATULATUONS AND
    ENJOY EVERYTHING !!!!!!!:) KEEP SMILING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) XOXOXOXOXOXO

  4. What a great news Rafa congratulations you deserves it .a d have a great wedding day, love you fans for ever 👍🎾😘❤️🎂❤️😘🎂😘❤️🎾😘❤️🎾😘❤️🎾😘❤️🎾😘❤️🎾😘❤️🎾😘❤️🎾😘

  5. News from Shanghai

    A youngster will win Shanghai: Zverev vs Daniil

    Roger received a point penalty and a code violation during his losing match against Sascha, (3-6, 7(9)-6(7), 3-6).

    Djokovic lost to Stefanos [6-3, 5-7, 3-6]. Indications are he may be having shoulder and/or elbow issues.

    Daniil is still going strong and is now in his straight sixth final, and his ninth of the year. He just overcame Stefanos in the semifinals in SS [7(7)-6(5), 7-5]. I hope he doesn’t burn out or get injured from playing so much.

    Sascha has won in SS in his semifinal vs Berrettini [6-3, 6-4].

    • I am more than pleased that Rafa will be no1 again. Rafa was always my favourite. He is the absolute best of the Best. … Federer is my 2nd favourite.He is another absolute winner. You deserve it
      Michael Kilgore

      • The tumps down won’t change so I’m letting y’all know that rafa is and will always be the best tennis player to grace that court💯❤

    • WELCOME BACK Rafantastic. So glad to see you back to cheer Rafa on. Your Rafa art is still the best.

      RAFAMAZING ROCKS

      • DG, Rafantastic is a long-time Rafa fan who, as long as I can remember, cheers Rafa and embellishes her comments with imojis. They are always done just right, for me. Never ostentatious, and done with artistry. And that’s why I call her use of imojis as “Rafa art.” It’s the combination of imojis she uses that is pleasing to the eye. Solely my opinion.

  6. This is wonderful news for Rafa as he has always said that ending the year as number one would be fantastic but it’s not his priority as just being healthy and playing his best is what he wants to achieve. And this year we have seen him achieve beyond what we ever thought possible.

    Tomorrow (so it is reported) is the day he takes the next step in his life. I for one feel a sentimental feeling about his wedding day as I want it to be everything he and Mery could ever dream of and more… He has given so much throughout his career to all of us and now he’s taking the next step on his personal journey in marriage with his beautiful fiance……

    Here is what I have read…. A private security company has been hired and security will be very tight. There will be no planes nor drones allowed overhead… All guests have been asked not to bring their cell phones..(that will be difficult to achieve with a group this large but hopefully guests will refrain from taking pictures and leaking them to the press or their instagram accounts). All employees of the venue and catering must sign confidentiality agreements.
    There will be celebrities that have been invited along with former King, Juan Carlos, and Sofia, the Queen Mother.but no politicians. The rest of the guests are all family and friends.

    Tomorrows weather should be a glorius 80 degrees and sunny.

    Wishing Rafa and Mery a lifetime of laughter, happiness and good health….always….

      • Oh man…. So Sorry… I meant to say next week (as reported) .. my mistake… and forget the weather report… 🙂

    • I have the same question, Marileena. Are you saying Rafa and Mery are getting married tomorrow, not Oct. 19?
      I am happy for them whatever date it might be, just would like to confirm it. Thanks.

      • Mimi…. When I read the article I got the dates mixed up … The article seemed so present in the moment without mentioning the date… and also there’s a picture of how the seats will be set up (Majorca Daily bulletin) and I looked at the calendar and thought for a minute that today was the 18th…. My error….

  7. Looking at the ATP Race to London, Rafa now has 9225 points. Novak has 7945. Novak could gain 1000 points by winning Paris, giving him 8945. 1500 points are up for grabs at the WTF so the Year End #1 will probably not be decided until then. But Rafa’s in a good position so I’ll leave it up to him and his team. As for a honeymoon…I’ll leave that schedule up to Rafa and Mary too! By now they’re both used to the demands of the ATP tour.

  8. Wonderful news to hear that Rafa reclaims Number 1. He is always number 1 in our hearts 🥰. A lovely wedding present for Rafa and Maria . Congratulations 🎈

  9. Rafas always number 1 in my book…number one as a human being and number one as an ambassador for tennis and number one as an example of hard work equals joy!!!!

  10. Wow , I watched the first set and Dvokovitch was so good , i decided that
    Stephanos was going to lose . Great that Rafa will finish #1 as Rafa gets to enjoy his wedding and honeymoon while preparing for the London Masters .

    • I didn’t quite get how Nole is dropping 1600 points. He lost in the QF at Shanghai of which he is the defending champ. So he’s dropped 820 points. He is scheduled to play in Paris in which he lost to Kachanov the final last year. If he wins it this year, he will get 400 additional points. So if Nole loses in the second round of Paris (top 8 players get a first round bye), he will only lose 590 points (he will get 10 points for the first round bye). So in total he will only lose 820 + 590 = 1410 points and not 1600 even if he doesn’t win a single match at Paris. Currently Nole has 10565 ranking points to Rafa’s 9225. If Nole even makes the QF at Paris, he will still only lose 320 points. So in all he would lose 820 + 320 = 1140 points. So Nole would still be at 10565 – 1140 = 9425 points, exactly 200 points ahead of Rafa.

      • The 2018 World Tour Finals points are coming off at the same time as the Paris points, rather than a week or two weeks later when you’d expect them to come off. This makes no sense to me at all, but it’s what the ATP website says!! So he’s losing the points from that as well.

  11. Grats to Rafa! However, if I understand correctly the year end #1 will probably be decided at the WTF?

    • Much as I am delighted, I do not understannd how this can be decided before there are still 2 more tournaments to be played before the end of 2019. Can someone pls enlighten me?

    • Ramara, I hope this helps.

      Someone can end the year as No. 1 but still lose the ATP Finals A/K/A the Race to London. The Race is ranked differently from the regular ATP Singles Ranking.

      Only two players are way ahead of the rest in the Race to London; Rafa and Nole.

      Right now Rafa is way ahead of everyone. If Djokovic plays Paris, and another tournament and wins he could then surpass Rafa as No. 1.

      I think that’s how it goes. Maybe someone else will offer you a clearer picture.

      • If I understand it correctly, Djokovic dropped 820 points by losing in the quarterfinal, so for the new ranking on Oct 14 (not Race to London), he will have 9,545 points, 320 points ahead of Rafa’s 9,225. Depends on how they both do at Paris Open, Rafa could take over as #1 after the tournament.

      • As I understand it, Rafa will definitely be world no 1 after Paris, because Nole’s 1000 points from being runner-up at the World Tour finals last year are coming off at the same time as his 600 points from being runner up in Paris last year. That’s very weird, and I can only assume it’s because the WTFs start on a Sunday so are treated as being a week earlier than they actually are … er, although a lot of tournaments start on a Sunday, so it really makes no sense at all! But the ATP website shows the “drop date” for both as being the same, November 4th. So then neither of them will have any points to defend in London, so it’s going to come down to how things go there.

      • The points from last year’s WTF will drop off immediately after the Paris Masters, so even if Djoko is to win Paris, he’ll gain 400 more points as he’s the runner up at Paris last year but will lose 1000 from last year WTF.

        He now has 9545 points after Shanghai, so he’ll have 9945 points if he wins Paris, but after the WTF points drop off, he’ll have 8945 points left, hence on 4 Nov Rafa will be world no.1.

        I doubt Djoko is going to play at Basel or Vienna or any 250 event before the Paris Masters, as that may jeopardise his chances of winning at Paris, just like at the Asian swing when he won Tokyo but lost at QF in Shanghai B2B.

        He’s not that young anymore, and this year he hasn’t won B2B week tournaments, so I doubt he would show his desperation (for retaining his no.1 ) by playing an additional event prior to Paris.

      • Luckystar, thank you for your easily understood layout of what is going on with the year-end No. 1 spot and the Djokovic analysis. Any thoughts on Djokovic being injured?

        Rafa’s got to be pleased about the position he’s in for being world No. 1 especially considering he didn’t expect to be playing at 33.

        RAFA ROCKS

      • setinthepast, We know that Rafa and Mary are not the conventional world-famous couple.

        With things all tennis, it’s Rafa who makes the decisions.

        I think decisions about their honeymoon would be made on an equal-partner basis. They may decide to postpone it. But it would not shock me if they already had their honeymoon.

        These are two very independent individuals doing things together their way. I would love for them to have a looong honeymoon, they may opt for something different. They have been together for 14 years so the only thing new will be being married. It’s also possible Mary wanted to be married before starting a family.

        The bottom line is we don’t know what the couple has planned. Whatever they decide to do I can confidently say it will be a joint decision. I am looking forward to seeing Rafa as a family man and may their marriage be blessed.

        It’s a very happy time.

      • I’d still like to think of them having a nice honeymoon. Was it Marin Cilic who insisted on practising during his honeymoon? His poor wife! I’m sure Rafa and Mery both want to get married before considering starting a family, and if that’s what they want then I hope it happens for them … but I hope the press don’t drive them mad about it the way they do with members of the Royal Family!

      • setinthepast, I think they are getting better at evading the press. I sure hope so because I don’t want their honeymoon spoiled.

      • Thsi is the most rediculous conversation I have ever heard… To even speculate as to whether Maria would want to be married before having children is outrageous (as if having a baby out of wedlock would even be an option) .. You either know Rafa or you don’t… These two people have been together for 14 years.. Rafa made his decision when to pop the question. Now they are planning a beautiful wedding. It is his time to get married… He is 33 years old and she is 31… And yes.. they will have a family…but if you know Rafa you would know…it’s all in good time… Everything has its place…

      • Marileena, debating is fine. It would be nice if you didn’t call fans’ opinions ridiculous.

        Yes, some people would want to be married before starting a family.

        As you said, “You either know Rafa or you don’t.” No, you don’t know Rafa. Despite the bandaging during Laver Cup and many of us worried for him, you insisted Rafa was fine. We know how that went.

      • Margo…. Perhaps “rediculous” was a little harsh….
        I don’t know… I hear you say things that are so outrageous that it is difficult not to comment…
        But I will hold back…
        And yes… I saw he was bandaged… I also commented that I was surprised he even played Laver after his brutal Open match but at the end of the day if he felt he was ready then I will support him and hope he is… ..
        You seem to know whats better for Rafa than Rafa himself.. You say… “maybe he will come to his senses” … as
        if he doesn’t know what he’s doing…
        I just don’t get it… You criticize him constantly and then say Rafa Rocks…

        I will stay quiet in the future… It was just hard this time hearing a comment about Maria and children before marriage… as if theres an ounce of credibility to that…
        And by the way…. you write… “With things all tennis, it’s Rafa who makes the decisions.”
        How do you know? Are you there in the house? Do you not think they discuss his schedule…what’s best for him? What makes you think its all Rafa?

        Behind every great man … is a great woman… and I would dare say after 14 wonderful years… nothing is Rafa only in making the decisions on tennis or anything else…

      • Coming to his senses in the sense he should rest and recuperate when he is injured. It always hurts me to find out he has played when injured because it can only take longer to heal.

        Don’t tell me I criticize Rafa unless you can supply proof. And if telling the truth is criticism you’ve got a lot to learn.

        Outrageous? For instance? It makes no sense for you to comment about something I don’t even know what you are referring to.

        Rafa himself said he listens to his team and then decides. Mary is not on his “tennis” team.

        And no one is asking you to stay quiet, least of all me.

        And yes,

        RAFA ROCKS

      • True, very happy time for Rafa and Marie, and his fans indeed.

        He not only won his fourth USO to get to 19 slams, getting married in October, but will be no.1 soon, what more not to be happy about?

        I wish the couple a happy and blissful marriage.

      • There is a mini baby boom in the ATP at the moment. Kevin Anderson just became a dad, Fognini and Flavia are expecting their second child soon, and Cilic has announced that he will be a first time dad next year. Margo you may be right that Maria Francisca wanted to marry before having a child. If that is what they desire I hope it comes true for them. She seems to love working with the children at the Foundation and he is always so kind to the little ones as well. They will be excellent parents.

      • RR, Mary attended a centuries-old [1809] private catholic school, La Pureza de María, and was taught by nuns. That says a lot about her upbringing.

        If she is a practicing catholic, it is possible she wouldn’t want her children growing up knowing she and Rafa were not married when she conceived or gave birth. This is only one theory.

        I found a glowing article about her written in 2014. I didn’t know she is shy. Or that she went to great lengths to keep the identity of her boyfriend Rafa secret from schoolmates so as not to attract attention. That it was the media who named her Xisca; because she doesn’t give interviews they had to call her something. Xisca is a diminutive of Francesca. Mary Frances, which she prefers, is English for María Francesca.
        [Sources: as, elmundo, glamour]

        I get more excited each day as October 19 approaches. Wishing them both all the joy in the world.

      • Speaking of baby booms, the BBC website’s just flashed up that Andy and Kim are expecting baby number 3. There was some speculation at Wimbledon because it looked as if Kim was wearing a maternity outfit … but they’ve somehow kept it quiet, and the baby is apparently due later this month!

  12. Congratulations campeon Rafael Nadal. This is well deserved. We are so proud of your tremendous effort and outstanding results. All the best in the future👏💪🥇👑🎾even more to celebrate💝

    • Margo,

      I am in agreement with you. None of us can state with certainty what has motivated Rafa and/or Maria Francisca in their decisions or what they will do next in their personal lives.. I always use the words may or might as I do not know them personally. Just because they have expressed something publicly in the past does not mean that they haven’t changed their minds.

      We should remember that even with all the media and social media coverage we probably only have insight into maybe 10% of their private lives. And that’s the way it should be.

      • Well said, RR!

        As one of Rafa’s loyal fans, I always respect and support his decisions.

        All the best to the lovely couple❤️❤️

      • This comment is not about tennis nor the wedding. Rather, it’s about Rafa’s fiancée’s name. In Spain, the way the name of the person is presented is: First Name – Surname of Person’s Father – Surname of Person’s Mother. Most girls at birth are given ‘Maria’ prefixed to their First Name. I myself am a Maria Julieta but nobody calls me Maria. Instead people address me as Julieta. I wonder if Mery, Marie as various fans call Rafa’s fiancée is how she wants to be referred to. I am tipping it’s Francisca, formally and Xisca to her family and friends. Does anyone in the know, know for sure? Kindly help. RR seems to know.

  13. Fantastic news Rafael, what a wonderful wedding present too, you’ll have your number 1 by your side & be number 1 in the tennis World, great news. Have a wonderful day on the 19th. Wishing you & your soon to be wife so much love & happiness from another number 1 fan. XX 🎈🥂🎂

    • Hello Julieta,

      Thanks for explaining Spanish naming customs!

      Rafa’s fiancee gave a radio interview for the foundation where the host asked her what she prefers being called. She stated definitively Maria Francisca. I have heard Rafa on video calling her Mery but that apparently is his private nickname for her. There may be some of her friends and family who refer to her that way also but since I am not in either category I now refer to her as Maria Francisca to respect her wishes.

      • RR thank you. I read the transcript of the interview. Sounds great what the foundation is doing to give children a helping hand.

        And I’m glad she put to rest that she is no Xisca.

  14. Rafa oh my goodness you really deserve it after your struggles with injuries etc! What a wonderful wedding present! Enjoy your wedding and all the best from your no 1 fan!

  15. Delighted well done congratulations you deserve it ,and have great wedding day and a very happy life into the future

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