Welcome back to No. 1, Rafa!

The post Cincinnati rankings are up. Rafael Nadal has officially returned to the World No. 1 ranking for the first time since 2014.

Today is Rafa’s first week at No. 1 in 2017, but overall, our champ is celebrating his 142nd week and 995th day at the top spot. As far as hours, Rafa has enjoyed more than 23,860 hours at No. 1, ATP World Tour reports.

Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Rafa’s ascension to the top spot ends Andy Murray’s 37-week stay at No. 1, with Andy now trailing our champ by 495 points.

ATP rankings as of August 21, 2017:

# Name Nationality Points Tournaments
1. Nadal Rafael Spain 7645 16
2. Murray Andy United Kingdom 7150 18
3. Federer Roger Switzerland 7145 16
4. Wawrinka Stan Switzerland 5690 18
5. Djokovic Novak Serbia 5325 17
6. Zverev Alexander Germany 4470 24
7. Cilic Marin Croatia 4155 22
8. Thiem Dominic Austria 4030 28
9. Dimitrov Grigor Bulgaria 3710 24
10. Nishikori Kei Japan 3195 21

Rafa will keep the place until at least September 11, with the US Open starting next week.

First time: Rafa’s debut at World No. 1 was 18 August 2008 and his stay there lasted almost a year, until 5 July 2009.

Second time: He reclaimed the throne on 7 June 2010, the day his longest streak started.

Third time around: In October 2013, Rafa again climbed to the top Emirates ATP Ranking a long injury layoff. It was a remarkable comeback during a year to remember.

Source: ATP World Tour

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Cincinnati: Quarterfinal presser – Rafael Nadal hopes to be ready for US Open

Rafael Nadal talks to the media after the 2-6, 5-7 defeat against Nick Kyrgios in Cincinnati.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How tough is it to play Nick when he’s serving so well today?
RAFAEL NADAL: He obviously is a tough match always, no? Nick is a great player, but I played bad, obviously, no?

I started the match well, and then I played a very bad game in the second set when he break me. And then I managed — I was lucky. I don’t know. I played some good points. He had some mistakes and I was able to be back in the match. And then I played terrible game.

So, yeah, was a bad match for me. Congrats to him. That’s it.

Q. At 5-All in the second set, that first point when they made that call and you hit the forehand up-the-line winner, how did that affect your mindset for the rest of that game?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course 15-Love, Love-15 change a lot, but at the same time, of course, we cannot think about one point.

No, no excuses. Nothing at all. I didn’t play well, and if I don’t play well, of course I cannot win against a player like Nick. That’s it.

Q. Tough loss tonight, but how do you feel physically going into the US Open? Do you feel pretty good?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hopefully yes, no? Is true that this tournament is a tournament that didn’t work very well for me during the history of my career. I never had a very good feelings here. I don’t know. The humidity, still don’t like this ball. Still I think needs to improve a lot this ball.

But in general terms is a tournament that, yeah, I played one time great that I won, 2013, but the rest of the times have been very tough for me to play well here and find more than win or lose. No, for example, Miami I never won but I had positive feelings.

No, here in this tournament, I love so much the tournament. Tournament is improving every year. But I don’t know why I don’t find my rhythm here, no?

Is tough for me to compete well here. But I’m going to keep trying next year. That’s all. That’s all what I can say.

Saying that, New York is a completely different event. Different ball, of course, and in the history of my career in New York I played much better. That’s true, no? No, I think I am practicing well. I gonna give my best during this week of practice. Probably gonna rest two days and then starting on Monday again, and I gonna give my best during that week of preparation in New York and I hope to be ready for New York. Continue reading “Cincinnati: Quarterfinal presser – Rafael Nadal hopes to be ready for US Open”

VIDEO: Playing twice in one day – highlights

It was a busy day for Rafael Nadal in Cincinnati as he had to play two matches in one day. Unfortunately, not the outcome we were expecting!

Rafael Nadal after loss to Nick Kyrgios in Cincinnati: “No excuses. I didn’t play well”

Top seed Rafael Nadal has been eliminated from the Cincinnati Open tonight after losing in straights sets to Nick Kyrgios. The young Aussie defeated our champ 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 20 minutes to move into the last four of the tournament.

Kyrgios had 10 aces to Rafa’s four, while winning 86 per cent of his first-serve points to Rafa’s 69 per cent and 52 per cent against 30 per cent on the second ball.

After the match, Rafa said:

He obviously is a tough match always. Nick is a great player, but I played poorly. I started the match well and then I played a very bad game in the second set when he broke me. I played some good points. He had some mistakes and I was able to be back in the match. And then I played a terrible game. So it was a bad match for me. Congrats to him. That’s it.

I love this tournament so much. It is improving every year. But I don’t know why I don’t find my rhythm here. It is tough for me to compete well here. But I’m going to keep trying next year.

The defeat marks a second premature elimination for Rafa in the space of a week, having suffered a third-round loss to Denis Shapovalov in the Rogers Cup last Thursday.

Despite the loss, Rafa will move back to No. 1 in the ATP rankings next week for the first time since 2014, before a series of injuries affected his game.

To be No. 1 after all the things I’ve been going through the last couple years is something unbelievable. For me, it’s an amazing achievement.

After the match, Rafa wore a ribbon honoring the victims of the attack in Barcelona.

A tragedy. The feeling that you’re not safe nowhere – that’s terrible. It’s very sad and I’m very, very sorry about what happened. To all the victims, the families, friends – all my support.

Sources: ATP, AP

Cincinnati Masters: 3rd round presser

Transcript of Rafael Nadal’s presser after the Ramos-Vinolas match.

 Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Q. Can you give us your thoughts about being in the quarterfinals here, and also your thoughts on what happened yesterday in Barcelona.
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure very happy to be in the quarterfinals. Was a tough match this afternoon against Albert, and now another very, very difficult match against Kyrgios, no?

So I just need to be ready, to play my best. The only way to try to have success in that match against Nick is just playing aggressive and play very focused all the time, and of course play at a great level of tennis.

And, yeah, what happened yesterday in Barcelona was, of course, terrible. Everyone is very, very sad. I don’t have words to say, because when these kind of things happen, is difficult, no?

All my support to Barcelona, and especially to the people that are suffering a lot, for all the families of the victims, no? So just keep going and sorry for everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Albert Ramos-Vinolas to reach Cincinnati quarterfinals

Wearing a black ribbon in honor of the victims of the Barcelona terrorist attack, Rafael Nadal has advanced into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters with a straight-sets 7-6(1), 6-2 victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

After winning the first set in the breaker, Rafa faced some trouble in the second set. Our champ saved two break points against Albert serving at 1-2 down, then broke and held to go up 4-2. After that, he won the next two games to finish the first task of the day.

After the match, Rafa said:

I was serving big today during the whole make – that was important for me. I can just say… see you tonight. It’s going to be tough (against Kyrgios). I will rest a little bit and try to play my best tennis. [via wsopen.com]

It will be a busy day for Rafa, who will come out after a brief rest to face Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals later today. Aussie won their infamous first match at Wimbledon three years ago, but Rafa has won the two since, including earlier this year in Madrid.

The winner of that match will face either Dominic Thiem or David Ferrer in the last four.

Rafael Nadal, Garbiñe Muguruza and the tennis world pay tribute to Barcelona terror attack victims

On Thursday afternoon, a van rammed into a crowd of people in Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring at least 100, CNN reported. It’s the worst attack on Spanish soil since the 2004 Madrid bombings, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,800.

Photo: Rafael Nadal Instagram

Rafael Nadal, Garbiñe Muguruza, Fernando Verdasco, and David Ferrer are among the tennis players who have been sending messages of condolence.

Rafa posted his messages of support in Spanish which translated means: “Shattered by what has happened in Barcelona! All my support to affected families and the city.”

Continue reading “Rafael Nadal, Garbiñe Muguruza and the tennis world pay tribute to Barcelona terror attack victims”