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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports shorts: Nadal virtually assured year-end top ranking

Sports shorts: Nadal virtually assured year-end top ranking

Last updated on: October 31, 2017 00:05 IST

Rafael Nadal needs to win just one round in Paris to put himself out of reach of Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal celebrates. Photograph: Kevin Lee/Getty Images

A hoped-for fight to the finish for the year-end number one ranking at next month's ATP World Tour Finals in London will likely be a coronation for Rafael Nadal, who is virtually guaranteed ending 2017 top of the pile.

 

Roger Federer's eighth Swiss Indoors title on Sunday reduced the points gap on the Spaniard to 1,460 points, but his subsequent withdrawal from this week's Paris Masters means Nadal is poised to finish top for the fourth time in his career.

With 1,500 points available in London for winning the title, having won all three round-robin matches, the 31-year-old Nadal needs to win just one round in Paris to put himself out of reach of the 19-times Grand Slam champion.

It is a far cry from last year when the year-end ranking was decided in the last match of the season at London's O2 Arena when Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic to seal it.

"My body is asking for a break," 36-year-old Federer, who beat Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro in Basel to claim his 95th career title, said of his decision to give up the chase of Nadal.

"Basel takes a lot out of me emotionally. I had five matches in six days. I feel sorry and sad for Paris.

"I'd like to be fully fit for London (the World Tour Finals) and for 2018.

"I did think about the ranking, but I'm so far back in the points race that it was almost out of the question."

Nadal, who shared this year's Grand Slam titles with Federer, winning a 10th French Open and third US Open title while the Swiss took the Australian and Wimbledon titles, starts his Paris campaign against either German serve-and-volleyer Mischa Zverev or young South Korean Hyeon Chung.

Federer has finished the year as number one five times, one less than record-holder Pete Sampras.

Boxing Nationals: Manoj wins gold, Shiva shocked in final

Manoj Kumar

IMAGE: Manoj Kumar in action during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Manoj Kumar claimed his second successive gold medal at the National Boxing Championships but Shiva Thapa was shocked in the final, on an eventful day of summit clashes in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

Manoj (69kg), competing for the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), got the better of Services Sports Control Board's (SSCB) Duryodhan Singh for his second successive gold at the event in a 4-1 decision.

Another defending champion, Shiva, however, lost on a split verdict to SSCB's Manish Kaushik, settling for the silver medal in the lightweight (60kg) category. Shiva was competing for his home state Assam in the event.

Manoj was adjudged the best boxer, while Manish was declared the most promising boxer.

King's Cup gold-medallist Shyam Kumar (49kg), who was representing RSPB, pulled off a close 3-2 win over Mizoram's Nt Lalbiakkima in the final to claim the top honours.

Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra, who is competing for the RSPB, won his maiden national title in the middleweight (75kg) category, after he out-punched Mizoram's Vanhlimpuia 5-0.

Asian Games bronze-medallist Satish, who turned up for the SSCB, defeated Haryana's Parvin Kumar 5-0 to claim the super heavyweight (+91kg) gold.

In the other bouts of the day, SSCB's Madan Lal became the bantamweight (56kg) champion after edging past Goa's Santosh Harijan 3-2 in a hard-fought contest.

The light welterweight (64kg) crown went to SSCB's Dheeraj Rangi.

Dheeraj did not even have to step inside the ring as his rival, Basant Thapa of Madhya Pradesh, gave him a walkover owing to an injury picked up his previous bout.

Similar was the case of Manish Panwar, who clinched the 81kg gold after a walkover from Delhi rival Neel Kamal.

Haryana fetched just one gold medal in this edition with Naman picking up the heavyweight (91kg) top honours with a 5-0 win over Himachal Pradesh's Varinder Kumar.

RSPB's Salman Sheikh beat Laldinmawia of Mizoram to claim the top honours in the 52kg division.

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