Nadal Clinches Year-End No. 1 ATP Ranking For Fifth Time

published: Nov, 14, 2019

by: Nima Naderi

LONDON — Rafael Nadal has clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking for a fifth time, following today’s results at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Spanish star’s position at the summit of the year-end ATP Rankings was confirmed following Novak Djokovic’s defeat to Roger Federer at The O2 on Thursday evening.

Nadal, who replaced Novak Djokovic at World No. 1 on 4 November, has enjoyed a stellar season, capturing four titles — including two Grand Slams and two ATP Masters 1000s. At 33, Nadal is the oldest player to finish year-end No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973).

Having previously finished at the top in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2017, Nadal is the first player to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 on four occasions. The Mallorcan is also the first player to finish No. 1 five times in non-consecutive years. The 11-year gap between his first year-end No. 1 season (2008) and his last (2019) is also a record.

Nadal is the fifth player to finish the year at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis on five or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors (5), Roger Federer (5) and Novak Djokovic (5). This is the 16th straight season that the year-end World No. 1 ranking has been held by a member of the ‘Big Four’ — Federer (2004-07, ’09), Nadal (2008, ’10, ’13, ’17, ‘19), Djokovic (2011-12, ’14-15, ‘18) or Murray (2016).

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “Rafa has had another incredible season and fully deserves this accolade for a remarkable fifth time in his career. Since the inception of the ATP Rankings in 1973, only 17 players can lay claim to finishing year-end No.1 – it’s unquestionably one of the toughest achievements in all sport. On behalf of ATP, many congratulations to Rafa and his team.”

The Spanish superstar, who ended the 2018 season early, has returned in 2019 playing some of the best tennis of his career. In compiling a 52-7 match record, Nadal has captured four trophies this season, including a historic 12th title at Roland Garros (d. Thiem) in June and a fourth at the US Open (d. Medvedev) in September. He won a ninth Internazionali BNL d’Italia crown (d. Djokovic) in Rome in May and a record-extending 35th ATP Masters 1000 trophy in August at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal. He also reached the Australian Open final (l. to Djokovic) in January and has now contested three Grand Slam finals in a calendar year on four occasions (also 2010-11, 2017).

This week, Nadal is aiming to clinch his first title at the Nitto ATP Finals, which he has qualified for a record 15 straight occasions (nine appearances) since 2005. Nadal will be presented with the ATP Tour No. 1 trophy at The O2 this week.

It is the ninth time in the past 19 years that year-end No. 1 has been decided at the final tournament of the season — 2000 (Gustavo Kuerten), 2001-02 (Lleyton Hewitt), 2003 (Andy Roddick), 2009 (Federer), 2013 (Nadal), 2014 (Djokovic) and 2016 (Andy Murray).


Year    Player
2019    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2018    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2017    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2016    Andy Murray (Great Britain)
2015    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2014    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2013    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2012    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2011    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2010    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2009    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2008    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2007    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2006    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2005    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2004    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2003    Andy Roddick (U.S.)
2002    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2001    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2000    Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)
1999    Andre Agassi (U.S.)
1998    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1997    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1996    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1995    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1994    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1993    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1992    Jim Courier (U.S.)
1991    Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1990    Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1989    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1988    Mats Wilander (Sweden)
1987    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1986    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1985    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1984    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1983    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1982    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1981    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1980    Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1979    Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1978    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1977    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1976    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1975    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1974    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1973    Ilie Nastase (Romania)

Nima Naderi

Founder and Creative Director of He has over 25 years of coaching experience and is an award winning coach with the PTR. Nima has written articles for the,, TennisViewMagazine and Tennis Pro Magazine. He is also the co-host of the TennisConnected PodCast, the Operations Director for Premium Court and the Tournament Director for the Caribbean Cup Tennis Series.

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