May 2, 2017
Rafael Nadal is threatening to overtake Roger Federer in the world rankings after taking his tenth Barcelona title at the weekend.
Although the Spaniard remains fifth in the rankings, he is closing the gap on Federer all the time and seems unstoppable on clay right now.
Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1, breaking just when required at the business end of the first set and then never looking back.
It was a significant win for Rafa in the Catalan capital where he has so many ties in both the tennis and football communities.
He explained: ‘I’m very satisfied. It’s been an emotional day for me. Playing in front of my crowd and my club and winning a tenth title here is something that’s impossible even to dream of. It’s very special and unique.
‘I played my best match of the tournament against probably the toughest opponent in the tournament, so I’m very happy.’
So far 2017 has been all about Federer and Nadal. And although the top three enjoy a healthy lead over the legendary pair right now, largely due to their 2016 displays, they will have to go some in order to keep Roger and Rafa at bay as the year progresses.
Here are the latest rankings:
1/ Andy Murray: 11,870
2/ Novak Djokovic: 8,085
3/ Stan Wawrinka: 5,695
4/ Roger Federer: 5,125
5/ Rafael Nadal: 4,735
Few would bet against Nadal at Roland Garros, where the French Open starts later this month.
Ten seems to be the lucky number. Rafa will be going for his tenth French Open title to go with his tenth at Monte Carlo and now Barcelona.
Federer says that he intends to play at Roland Garros too, after his extended break.
And if the world’s two most popular players meet on the Paris clay, then Roger’s victories in their previous finals this year will have to be forgotten.
On this surface, Nadal is the king. And it could be Federer’s turn to play bridesmaid.
At Wimbledon 2017, however, Roger may rise to the very top once more.