Rafael Nadal wins L’Equipe ‘World Champion of Champions’ award

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Rafael Nadal wins L'Equipe World Champion of Champions award

For the fourth time in his career (2010, 2013, 2017), Rafael Nadal has won the L’Equipe World Champion of Champions award after a fantastic season.

At the age of 33, Rafa was capable of playing his best tennis once again in 2019, overcoming Novak Djokovic in the closing stages of the year to become the oldest year-end no.1 player in the ATP history.

Sidelined from the court since the US Open last year, the Spaniard made a strong return at the Australian Open and went on to score 58 wins in 65 encounters, claiming four ATP titles and standing as the most consistent player on the Tour to secure that year-end honor and many awards.

Rafa became the only player with 16 consecutive seasons with at least one ATP title, conquering two Majors and standing on 19 ahead of 2020, just one behind Roger Federer.

Nadal also grabbed two Masters 1000 crowns in Rome and Montreal, staying ahead of Novak Djokovic with 35 trophies at that level.

His 12th Roland Garros crown was also the record-breaking one, making him the only player in history with that many titles at the single Major, reigning supreme in Paris in the last 15 years.

After that tough loss to Novak Djokovic in the final in Melbourne, Rafa had to deal with injuries in Acapulco and Indian Wells, withdrawing from Miami and hoping for a better run on beloved clay.

Instead of that, Fabio Fognini, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas halted him in the semi-final in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, leaving Rafa with no room for errors in Rome and Roland Garros. There, he was back at his best, claiming titles and 3000 points that kept him in the ATP Race with Djokovic.

For the second year in a row, Nadal was the semi-finalist at Wimbledon, losing to Roger Federer in four sets and bouncing back in Montreal and the US Open for some hard-court magic, and another pair of big titles on his tally.

Becoming the ATP Race leader again, Rafa had to skip Shanghai Masters and made a return in Paris, desperate to earn points and stay ahead of Novak.

An injury forced the Spaniard to withdraw before the semi-final clash with Denis Shapovalov, traveling to the ATP Finals with 640 points advantage over Djokovic who conquered the crown in Paris.

In London, Rafa suffered a tough loss to Alexander Zverev in the first match, giving his best to overpower Daniil Medvedev (coming from the verge of defeat) and Stefanos Tsitsipas, earning 400 points and staying ahead of Novak who also failed to pass the round-robin stage, allowing Rafa to finish as the year-end no.1 for the fifth time.

The Spaniard closed the year with the record-breaking fifth Mubadala World Tennis Championship crown, taking down Stefanos Tsitsipas after more than three hours to bring another trophy to his collection.

 

Chidi Nwoke.