Photo: Spain's Nadal Claims No. 2 Rank Heading into U.S. Open
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who won the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati over the weekend, is back in the No. 2 spot in the ATP rankings for the first time since June 2012.
Nadal lost his hold on the No. 2 spot after being knocked out of Wimbledon by Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round last year.
The 27-year-old Nadal, who won his 8th French Open title on June 9, was off the ATP Tour for seven months due to a knee injury that plagued him after his loss at the 2012 Wimbledon tournament.
Nadal defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Aug. 11, regaining the No. 3 spot in the ATP rankings.
On Sunday, Nadal defeated American John Isner 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3) in the final at the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati, grabbing the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
Nadal has been unstoppable since returning to action in February, playing in 11 finals and winning nine titles.
The Spaniard’s only setback came at Wimbledon, where Belgium’s Steve Darcis knocked him off 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, marking the first time Nadal lost in the first round of a Grand Slam event.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic retained his hold on the No. 1 spot in the rankings, while Britain’s Andy Murray fell to No. 3.
Swiss great Roger Federer dropped to No. 7 in the rankings after losing to Nadal in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati, marking the first time he is out of the top four since July 2003.
The world’s top tennis players are gearing up for the U.S. Open, which starts on Aug. 26 and is the year’s last Grand Slam event.