Nadal to be No. 1 after China Open final
APBEIJING--Rafael Nadal will supplant Novak Djokovic atop the rankings after advancing to the final of the China Open on Saturday when Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic retired with a back injury.
October 6, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The Spaniard was a break up at 4-2 in the opening set of their semifinal match when Berdych retired soon after taking an injury timeout. He could face Djokovic on Sunday, as the Serb played Richard Gasquet of France in the other semifinal later Saturday.
Nadal, who improved to 27-0 on hard courts this season, will return to the top ranking for the first time since July 2011. Djokovic has been No. 1 for 101 weeks.
“The personal satisfaction is not because I am No. 1 today, it's because (of) all the work (I put in) to be where I am today,” Nadal said. “I don't feel (like) a better player now than five hours ago, and I won't go to bed tonight feeling that I am the best player in the world_that's something I've never thought.”
In the women's draw, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia made the final with a 6-7 (7), 6-1, 6-1 win over Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
Jankovic will play the winner of top-ranked Serena Williams and Angieszka Radwanska.
Nadal had been assured of reclaiming the top spot if he reached the final in Beijing or Djokovic failed to defend his title.
Nadal, the reigning French Open and U.S. Open champion, has had a dominant year since returning in February from a seven-month layoff due to a left knee injury. He has won 10 titles and reached 12 finals overall, compiling an ATP Tour-best record of 65-3 on the season.