ATP Rankings: What needs to happen for Rafael Nadal to snatch No 1 in Cincy

·3-min read
Rafael Nadal gestures during a match Credit: PA Images
Rafael Nadal gestures during a match Credit: PA Images

All-time Grand Slam Singles title leader Rafael Nadal could snatch the World No 1 ranking if certain conditions are met in Cincinnati.

Nadal would need to win the tournament to bank the 1000 points that come with it to have any chance of returning to the rankings summit while incumbent World No 1 Daniil Medvedev will need to slip up.

Meanwhile, Medvedev would need to exit the tournament before the quarterfinals to be in danger of losing the top spot.

Turning up to the Western and Southern Open will net Nadal a rankings point gain after he missed the tournament in 2021.

The current rankings king Medvedev is defending 360 points from his semi-final run at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in 2021.

Nadal has admitted that his abdominal injury remains a concern and that he is testing the waters in Cincy, hoping to mount a challenge at the US Open.

However, he still feels that the opportunity to become top dog again is massive considering what he has been through with injuries.

In major changes to the rankings this week, Great Britain’s No 2 and No 4 went on a rankings charge thanks to their showings in Montreal with Dan Evans breaking back into the top 30 and Jack Draper reaching a career-high ranking.

Evans reached the last four in Montreal, ensuring he rose to No 23 on the rankings in a 16-position jump.

Cameron Norrie remains the top-ranked Brit, having made a small ranking points gain which has left him in 11th, albeit now further adrift of the top ten.

Andy Murray suffered a net loss of 20 rankings points after failing to match his 2021 week 32 performance but he moves up one place as American John Isner plummeted 17 places to World No 50.

Draper reached the quarter-finals in Montreal and has risen to World No 55 off the back of the run.

His 27-place jump makes Draper the biggest positive mover in the top 100 of the ATP Rankings.

The only significant change in the top ten sees Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas swap places.

Ruud jumped two spots up from seventh to fifth as he reached the last four.

The Norwegian is set to defend 180 points at Cincy this week meaning an early exit could see him slip behind Novak Djokovic again despite the Serb’s absence.

Alexander Zverev is not fit to defend his Masters title this week and could lose his current career-high World No 2 ranking as he forfeits 1000 points.

Carlos Alcaraz and Ruud could also become World No 2 in Cincy but both men would need to win the tournament to achieve that feat.

Nadal needs to reach the last eight to move above Zverev.

Andrey Rublev could drop out of the top ten this week as he defends 600 points from his runner-up efforts in 2021 while Tsitsipas also faces a potential drop if he cannot match or better his semi-final last year.

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