Nadal seals year-end No.1
In defeating Hyeon Chung 7-5 6-3 in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters, Rafael Nadal is guaranteed to finish the year as world No.1 for the fourth time
Despite appearing to be feeling the effects of a lengthy campaign, the Spaniard did enough to see off his capable opponent in a city where he has enjoyed so much success.
“I’m very, very happy for everything,” said Nadal as he reflected on his latest accomplishment. “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.”
Elsewhere at the final event of the regular season, del Potro took another step towards realising his London dream. The Argentine needs to reach the semi-finals this week to ensure World Tour Finals qualification, and he made the ideal start.
Del Potro, who lost out to Roger Federer in the final of Basel on Sunday, brushed past Joao Sousa 6-2 6-2 in just 62 minutes.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s late bid to qualify for the season finale is over. The Frenchman was victorious in Antwerp and reached the final of the Vienna Open, but he lost his first match in Paris.
Julien Benneteau was understandably thrilled to recover from a set down and defeat a player ranked 68 places ahead of him. The 35-year-old wildcard entry was a 2-6 7-6(4) 6-2 winner.
Kevin Anderson appeared to be in a good position to qualify for London after the US Open, but he has squandered a glorious opportunity.
The South African has won just three matches since his final run in New York and he will now be pondering holiday destinations after a narrow defeat to Fernando Verdasco.
The biggest surprise on day three involved the No.4 seed. Robin Haase, who reached the semi-finals of the Montreal Masters, shocked Alexander Zverev 3-6 6-2 6-2.
Grigor Dimitrov has already punched his ticket to London and he was in fine form this evening. The Bulgarian won a highly entertaining one-handed backhand duel with Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-4.
Jack Sock took out Kyle Edmund 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(5), John Isner squeezed past Diego Schwartzman, Lucas Pouille was too strong for Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Cuevas upset Albert Ramos-Vinolas.