PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal secures end of year world No 1 ranking with victory over Hyeon Chung

Rafael Nadal booked his place in the third round of the Rolex Paris Masters and secured the year-end number one ranking with a hard-fought victory over Hyeon Chung, 7-5, 6-3. Our champ will finish a year as world number one for the fourth time, after doing so in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

After the match, Rafa said:

It’s been an amazing year. One year ago, I never dreamed about being world No 1 again, never mind at the end of the season. It means a lot to me.

The season is not over. I’m here in Paris, the most important city of my career so I’m just looking forward to keeping going and trying my best.

He becomes the oldest male player to end the year as the ATP-ranked number one.

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PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal awarded at the Premio Los Leones 2017

Rafael Nadal has been awarded at the Premio Los Leones 2017, presented by the publication El Español, for his sporting career.

Rafa picked up the prize at an event which took place at the Teatro Real in Madrid, which was also attended by Real Madrid’s superstars Zinedine Zidane, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.

Florentino Pérez was recognized for his management of Real Madrid and Ignacio Echeverría received a posthumous award for solidarity.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Roger Federer in Shanghai final

Roger Federer denied Rafael Nadal a first Shanghai Masters title as he powered his way to a straight-sets victory in Sunday’s final.

The Swiss player beat our champ for a fourth time this season and fifth in succession, needing three breaks of serve and 82 minutes to claim his 94th career title thanks to a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

Rafa didn’t move well and we just hope his knee is not bothering him too much.

After the match, Rafa said:

I want to congratulate Roger for a great year. Today you played a fantastic match.

This year for me has been my most successful year in China. It’s been a great two weeks, I feel very happy for what has happened for me.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Marin Cilic to reach Shanghai Masters final

World number one Rafael Nadal has reached the final of the Shanghai Masters by beating Marin Cilic in straight sets. He booked his place in this year’s main event with a 7-5, 7-6(3) victory over the Croatian number one.

Cilic created three set points after early pressure from Rafa, who won the opener in 67 minutes. Rafa was broken twice in the second but won a fine match in two hours and 11 minutes.

After the match, Rafa said:

Very happy. Of course I played I think a very high level of tennis. It was a great match again. I don’t know what he said, if he already talked or what he’s going to say later, I don’t know, but in my opinion, he played well, too. Was a great, good quality of tennis this afternoon.

Rafa is on course to win his 76th singles title and will now face either Roger Federer or Juan Martin del Potro in the final on Sunday. Our champ claimed his sixth title of the year with victory in Beijing last week.

Rafa will try to win a 31st career ATP Masters 1000 title, which would break the record that he shares with Novak Djokovic.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeats Grigor Dimitrov to reach semi-finals of Shanghai Masters

(AP) – Rafael Nadal tied Andre Agassi for seventh place on the list of all-time Open Era wins when he reached the Shanghai Masters semifinals on Friday.

Topping Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 was his 870th match win. Rafa also improved his win streak to 15 having won the China Open last week. In Beijing, he defeated Dimitrov in a three-set semifinal.

Dimitrov extended the quarterfinal to a third set when he rebounded from a 4-2 deficit to win the second-set tiebreaker. In the third set, Rafa saved the one break point he faced in the match in the fifth game, and broke serve in the sixth to set up victory.

After the match, Rafa said:

Winning a lot of matches in a row, so I’m very happy for everything. Of course, being able to win the U.S. Open, Beijing, and being in the semifinals here … I have to try to keep focus and hold that momentum. We’ll see tomorrow if I can have another good day.

Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic stands between Rafa and a second ATP final in two weeks.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Fabio Fognini to reach Shanghai Masters quarter-finals

(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal continued to scythe his way through the Shanghai Masters on Thursday, reaching the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-1 thrashing of temperamental Italian Fabio Fognini, who was playing the day after being handed a suspended ban from two grand slams and $96,000 fine for verbally abusing a female umpire at the U.S. Open.

Rafa needed two minutes over the hour to dispatch Fognini, taking his winning streak to 14 matches since the start of the U.S. Open where he claimed a 16th grand slam title.

Our champ next plays Grigor Dimitrov for the second time in as many weeks, after defeating the Bulgarian in three sets in Beijing.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal eases into Shanghai third round

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal made light work of the unseeded American Jared Donaldson to sprint into the third round of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

The world number one, fresh from winning the China Open and the US Open, ruthlessly disposed of the world-ranked 56 Donaldson, 6-2, 6-1 in just 54 minutes.

Rafa, a 16-time Grand Slam winner, plays Italian Fabio Fognini in the next round.