Nadal clinches No. 1 ranking with win in Paris

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[November 02, 2017]  The Sports Xchange

Rafael Nadal clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking by knocking off Korea's Hyeon Chung in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday.

The Spaniard grabbed a 7-5, 6-3 win over Chung to claim the top spot, which will make him the oldest year-end No. 1 at 31 since the rankings began in 1973. Nadal also finished the year in the top spot in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

"I'm very, very happy for everything," Nadal said in his on-court interview after the match. "It has been an amazing year. One year ago, for sure I never dreamed about being World No. 1 again at the end of the season. It's something that means a lot to me. But the season is not over."

Nadal, who is the top seed in Paris, will continue his bid for a seventh tournament title this season in the round of 16 against Pablo Cuevas. The Uruguay native outlasted 15th-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-2 in two hours, 26 minutes.

No. 3 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia had an easier time advancing by breezing to a 6-4, 6-3 win over countryman Borna Coric in one hour, 34 minutes. Cilic recorded 13 aces and overcame five double faults.

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro needed only 62 minutes to secure a 6-2, 6-2 win over Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa and continue a strong run that saw him win in Stockholm two weeks ago and reach the final in Basel last week before falling in three sets to Roger Federer. Del Potro will try to continue his hot streak against the Netherlands' Robin Haase, who overcame a rough first set to down fourth-seeded German Alexander Zverev, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

No. 6 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria skipped past France's Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 while No. 7 seed David Goffin of Belgium fought off France's Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

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Ninth-seeded American John Isner needed 29 aces to survive a 7-6 (2), 6-7 (11), 6-3 challenge from Argentina's Diego Schawrtzman in two hours, 33 minutes and set up a battle with Dimitrov in the round of 16.

French wild card Julien Benneteau defeated countryman and No. 11 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 while another Frenchman, No. 17 seed Lucas Pouille, booked a spot in the round of 16 by knocking off Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4.

Pouille will vie for a spot in the quarterfinals against American No. 16 Jack Sock, who outlasted Britain's Kyle Edmund 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5).

Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic defeated American Sam Querry 6-4, 6-4 and will meet France's Nicolas Mahut in the round of 16. Mahut converted four break points in a 6-4, 6-1 win over eighth-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem of Norway survived a challenge from Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4 to set up a date with Spain's Fernando Verdasco, who topped South African Kevin Anderson 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

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