For the fourth time in his career and the second in the last three years, Rafael Nadal is the ITF World Champion after a stellar 2019 season.
The 33-year-old Spaniard was the most consistent player of the year, both at Majors and overall, missing the opportunity to play in the semi-final only twice and suffering just seven losses in 65 encounters.
Nadal claimed four ATP titles in Rome, Roland Garros, Canada and the US Open, reaching at least the semi-final at all four Majors and overcoming Novak Djokovic in the closing stages of the year to grab the fifth year-end no.
Djokovic defeated Rafa in the final at the Australian Open and they were the players to beat on the ATP Race throughout the season, with Novak staying in front after a slow start for Rafa on his beloved clay, with everything changing after those titles in Rome and Roland Garros and 3000 points on the Spaniard’s tally.
Rafa was the player to beat in Montreal and New York as well, conquering the 35th Masters 1000 crown and the 19th Major to stay on the greatest of all time course, looking good to defend the advantage in the Race and finish at the top of the men’s standings.
As usual, he couldn’t play the entire swing after the US Open and the ultimate battle for the year-end no. 1 spot came to the ATP Finals, with 640 points separating Nadal and Djokovic.
At the ATP Finals, both players failed to reach the semis and it was enough for Rafa to keep the advantage and finish the season above all the rivals.
On Saturday, Nadal will have the opportunity to play for the fifth Mubadala World Tennis Championship crown against Stefanos Tsitsipas who ousted Novak in the semis.
“I am thrilled to be named ITF World Champion and receive this award from the ITF,” said Nadal.
“To finish as No. 1 on the ATP rankings for the fifth time and win two more Grand Slam titles this year has been something that, looking a few years back, we would have never thought would happen.”
“And as a perfect end, it was particularly special to win the Davis Cup at home in Spain. Thank you also to my team that has been with me all this time,” Nadal added.