(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal’s return to the top of the world rankings is a testament to the Spaniard’s longevity in the game and is as impressive as any of his career achievements, men’s tennis chief Chris Kermode has said.
The 31-year-old Nadal became the world number one for the first time since July 2014 after replacing Britain’s Andy Murray at the top spot on Monday.
“To regain the No. 1 ranking nine years after having first reached it is unprecedented,” ATP president Kermode said in a statement.
“Rafa has been setting records throughout his remarkable career and this one is as impressive as any. It shows incredible dedication and longevity, and we congratulate him on this amazing achievement.”
Nadal, a 15-times grand slam winner, came back from a series of knee and wrist injuries to reach the Australian Open final and claimed a record 10th French Open title this season.
“Being No. 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something unbelievable, so (it) is, for me, an amazing achievement to be back to that position after three years,” said Nadal.
Nadal has claimed four titles on tour this season, winning 49 matches and losing nine in a stellar 2017.