PARIS — Rafael Nadal will finish the year as the top-ranked player for the fourth time.
The 31-year-old Nadal assured himself the No. 1 ranking by beating Hyeon Chung, 7-5, 6-3, Wednesday in the second round of the Paris Masters.
It is the first time he has finished the year at the top since 2013, with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray doing so after that.
“One year ago, for sure I never dreamed about being No. 1 again at the end of the season,” said Nadal, a 16-time Grand Slam winner who missed large parts of 2016 because of a wrist injury. “It has been an amazing year.”
Nadal’s comeback from injury, loss of form and confidence, has been remarkable. He reached three Grand Slam finals this year, losing to Roger Federer at the Australian Open and winning a 10th French Open title before clinching the United States Open for the third time.
Nadal, who also finished as No. 1 in 2008 and 2010, is also the oldest, a testament to his relentless determination.