Rafael Nadal is the favorite to become world no. 1 After the US Open, Daniil Medvedev failed to defend his crown and 2000 points. Nadal dominated Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Rudd early in the tournament, but it wasn’t enough to secure it until the end of the event.
The Spaniard played just one match between Wimbledon and the US Open, not enough to regain form and recover from a stomach injury. Nadal recorded three wins before suffering a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss to Francis Tiafoe in the fourth round.
Thus, the 22-time major winner ruined his chances of becoming world no. 1 for the first time since early 2020. The American defeated the Spaniard in three hours and 34 minutes, playing powerful tennis and taking crucial points.
The home star cracked 49 winners and 28 unforced errors to climb to five breaks on top.
Rafael Nadal failed to take the ATP crown at the US Open.
Nadal held just two return games to win the fourth set 3-1 to slam the exit door.
Rafa needed that win to put more significant pressure on Alcaraz and Rudd. If Nadal takes him to 5990 points for the quarter-finals, his opponents will need to become the champion to overtake him and steal the number. 1 honor from a veteran.
Instead, Rafa stayed on 5810 points and the young guns took their chances with both hands to beat the world no. 1 War! Rudd, who played in her first US Open semi-final, defeated Karen Kachanov 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in her second major final at Roland Garros in June.
Thus, the Norwegian will play Carlos Alcaraz for his first Major crown and ATP crown on Sunday. The Spanish teenager is in the same position as he chases his first major and the youngest world no. 1 ATP ranking since its inception in 1973!
Carlos survived three straight five-sets to reach his first major final with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 win over Frances Tiafone in four hours and 19 minutes. Nadal is world no. 3 after the US Open at 36 years and three months after missing a big chance to take over the ATP throne and world No. 2
1 after Roger Federer. Rafa’s Last World No. It’s week 1 of the 2020 Australian Open, and it’s hard to wait for more opportunities for him in the rest of the season. Before returning to court, Nadal said he did not know when he would play again, waiting for the first child and hoping to heal the injury.
The Spaniard won two ATP titles in the post-US Open era, and his expectations in the final months of the season, especially on home court, are unrealistic. Rafa won two majors this year, against all odds, but it will be hard to repeat that in 2023 with so many young players.