Rafael Clinches Year-End No. 1 for Fifth Time
(November 14, 2019) LONDON — Rafael Nadal has clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking for a fifth time, following thursday’s results at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Spanish star’s position at the summit of the year-end ATP Rankings was confirmed following Novak Djokovic’s defeat to Roger Federer at The O2 on Thursday evening.
Nadal, who replaced Novak Djokovic at World No. 1 on 4 November, has enjoyed a stellar season, capturing four titles — including two Grand Slams and two ATP Masters 1000s. At 33, Nadal is the oldest player to finish year-end No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973).
Having previously finished at the top in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2017, Nadal is the first player to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 on four occasions. The Mallorcan is also the first player to finish No. 1 five times in non-consecutive years. The 11-year gap between his first year-end No. 1 season (2008) and his last (2019) is also a record.
Nadal is the fifth player to finish the year at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis on five or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors (5), Roger Federer (5) and Novak Djokovic (5). This is the 16th straight season that the year-end World No. 1 ranking has been held by a member of the ‘Big Four’ — Federer (2004-07, ’09), Nadal (2008, ’10, ’13, ’17, ‘19), Djokovic (2011-12, ’14-15, ‘18) or Murray (2016).
Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “Rafa has had another incredible season and fully deserves this accolade for a remarkable fifth time in his career. Since the inception of the ATP Rankings in 1973, only 17 players can lay claim to finishing year-end No.1 – it’s unquestionably one of the toughest achievements in all sport. On behalf of ATP, many congratulations to Rafa and his team.”
The Spanish superstar, who ended the 2018 season early, has returned in 2019 playing some of the best tennis of his career. In compiling a 52-7 match record, Nadal has captured four trophies this season, including a historic 12th title at Roland Garros (d. Thiem) in June and a fourth at the US Open (d. Medvedev) in September. He won a ninth Internazionali BNL d’Italia crown (d. Djokovic) in Rome in May and a record-extending 35th ATP Masters 1000 trophy in August at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal. He also reached the Australian Open final (l. to Djokovic) in January and has now contested three Grand Slam finals in a calendar year on four occasions (also 2010-11, 2017).
This week, Nadal is aiming to clinch his first title at the Nitto ATP Finals, which he has qualified for a record 15 straight occasions (nine appearances) since 2005. Nadal will be presented with the ATP Tour No. 1 trophy at The O2 this week.
It is the ninth time in the past 19 years that year-end No. 1 has been decided at the final tournament of the season — 2000 (Gustavo Kuerten), 2001-02 (Lleyton Hewitt), 2003 (Andy Roddick), 2009 (Federer), 2013 (Nadal), 2014 (Djokovic) and 2016 (Andy Murray).
ATP TOUR YEAR-END NO. 1
2019 Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2018 Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2017 Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2016 Andy Murray (Great Britain)
2015 Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2014 Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2013 Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2012 Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2011 Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2010 Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2009 Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2008 Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2007 Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2006 Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2005 Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2004 Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2003 Andy Roddick (U.S.)
2002 Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2001 Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2000 Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)
1999 Andre Agassi (U.S.)
1998 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1997 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1996 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1995 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1994 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1993 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1992 Jim Courier (U.S.)
1991 Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1990 Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1989 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1988 Mats Wilander (Sweden)
1987 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1986 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1985 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1984 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1983 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1982 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1981 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1980 Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1979 Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1978 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1977 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1976 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1975 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1974 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1973 Ilie Nastase (Romania)