French Open champion Rafael Nadal returns to No. 1 in ATP rankings, supplanting Roger Federer

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nadal replaces Federer at No. 1 in ATP rankings

PARIS — French Open champion Rafael Nadal returned to No. 1 in the ATP rankings Monday, reclaiming the top spot from Roger Federer 11 months after relinquishing it.

Nadal’s fifth title at Roland Garros — a year after he was upset in the fourth round — gave him enough rankings points to move up from No. 2. He was ranked No. 1 for 46 weeks previously, but was overtaken by Federer in July 2009.

“Believe me, I am very happy” about getting back to the top, Nadal said after beating Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in Sunday’s French Open final. But the 24-year-old Spaniard also made perfectly clear that he was more excited about winning his seventh Grand Slam title than his new ranking.

“When I was crying after the match,” he said, “the last thing I was thinking (about was) No. 1.”

Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach, agreed.

“Being No. 1 is nice after the tournament,” Toni Nadal said Sunday, “but the most important thing is the trophy.”

By getting bumped down to No. 2, Federer was left one week shy of tying Pete Sampras’ career record of 286 total weeks at No. 1.

Federer won last year’s French Open, but he lost to Soderling in the quarterfinals last week.

Soderling’s second consecutive runner-up finish at Roland Garros — he also was the player who stunned Nadal in 2009 — allowed him to rise one place to a career-high No. 6.

“This was very, very important for the rest of the season, to build a little bit of confidence and to be able to play better and better for every match. Because he was tense going in. The last couple of weeks before the French, he was talking a lot about how many (rankings) points he has to defend,” said Soderling’s coach, Magnus Norman.

No. 3 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Andy Murray and No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko stayed put from the previous rankings, while Andy Roddick of Austin, Texas, went up one spot to No. 7, and reigning U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro slid two notches to No. 8. He missed the French Open, sidelined by right wrist surgery.

Surprise semifinalist Jurgen Melzer jumped 11 spots to a career-high 16th, while the biggest move by anyone in the top 100 was made by Robby Ginepri of Kennesaw, Ga., who climbed from 98th to 70th by reaching the fourth round in Paris.

In the WTA rankings, sisters Serena and Venus Williams remain at Nos. 1 and 2 in singles — part of a top five that is unchanged — and they now are tied for No. 1 in doubles after pairing to win the French Open for their fourth consecutive Grand Slam doubles title.

French Open champion Francesca Schiavone went up 11 spots to a career-high No. 6 in singles. She turns 30 on June 23, and is the oldest woman to make her debut in the top 10 since 30-year-old Nathalie Tauziat did it in 1998.

Schiavone became Italy’s first female Grand Slam champion by beating Australia’s Samantha Stosur 6-4, 7-6 (2) Saturday. It was the first major final for both, and Stosur kept her No. 7 ranking.

Asked about reaching the top 10, Schiavone said: “It’s something I’ve always wanted, something I always sought.”

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