“It’s emotional. I know I’m going to be No. 1. Getting No. 1 is a present for a lot of work in the past, so it’s satisfying.” ~ Rafael Nadal
Finally, after years of chasing, Nadal is guaranteed to claim the world No. 1 ranking this month after reaching the semifinals at the Cincinnati Masters with a 7-6(3), 6-1 victory over Nicolas Lapentti.
The timing of Nadal's rise to No. 1 replacing Roger Federer depends on his results in Cincinnati:
- If Nadal wins the title, he will become No. 1 this Monday.
- If Nadal loses in the final he will become No. 1 on August 11
- If Nadal loses in the semifinals he will become No. 1 on August 18
The Spaniard will become the 24th player in the history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973) to hold the No. 1 position. He will join countrymen Carlos Moya (1999) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003) to rank No. 1.
"Well, there are so many different things, no, so difficult to compare," said Nadal, when asked about becoming No. 1."Nadal, who also won his career-best 32nd consecutive match on Friday, has reached the semifinals or better in all nine ATP Masters Series tournaments in his career. He will attempt to become the first player to reach the final in all nine when he plays World No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Saturday. Nadal leads the all-time series 9-3, winning the last three meetings this year.
"But when you win Roland Garros it's in the moment, no? It's, I don't know, very emotional. Right now I know I going to be No. 1 and I'm very, very happy to be No. 1. Be No. 1 always is, I think, is a present for a lot of work in the past, no? So that's satisfying me a lot. But for be No. 1 you only can be No. 1 winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon, so..."
"I am very happy but at the same time, my goal is continuing be there (at No. 1). So my goal is continuing be there Olympics and US Open, so no time for enjoy."
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