Spain’s Rafael Nadal became the oldest player on Sunday to finish as year-end ATP World No 1.
This is the fourth time that man from Majorca has finished the year on a high – he previously finished at the top in 2008, 2010 and 2013, Nadal becomes the first player to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 on three occasions, according to atpworldtour.com.
Nadal got the feat after beating South Korean Hyeon Chung at the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday, November 1.
"I’m very, very happy for everything," Nadal had said in his on-court interview.
"It has been an amazing year. One year ago, for sure I never dreamed about being World No. 1 again at the end of the season. It’s something that means a lot to me. But the season is not over."
He is the first player to finish No. 1 four times in non-consecutive years, the first aged over-30 and the first to finish in the top spot four years since he last achieved the feat (2013). The nine-year gap between his first year-end No. 1 season (2008) and his last (2017) is also a record.
2017 was a stellar year for Nadal, who replaced Great Britain’s Andy Murray at No. 1 on 21 August, having captured six titles – including two Grand Slams and two ATP World Tour Masters 1000s and reaching 10 tour-level finals.
Nadal is the seventh player to finish the year at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis on four or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (5), Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Novak Djokovic (4).
This is the 14th 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), Djokovic (2011-12, ’14-15) or Murray (2016).