Rafael Nadal became the second man to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals after his second-round win against Matthew Ebden at the AEGON Championships on Wednesday.
Nadal has won three titles this year, including his sixth French Open and he has made it to four finals. His results this year have given him enough points to qualify for the year-end championships before Wimbledon, according to an ATP press release.
The 25-year-old Spaniard joins World No. 2 Novak Djokovic in the World Tour Finals. Djokovic qualified before the French Open because he had a long winning streak that culminated in seven titles, including the Australian Open. He was also the man to defeat Nadal in all four of his finals appearances.
“It’s always a pleasure to play in London. It’s a fantastic city and The O2 stadium is one of the nicest indoor stadiums in the world. It was a fantastic tournament last year for me, playing in the final, with very emotional matches. I’m very happy to be qualified and to come back again this year,” Nadal said in the press release.
This is the seventh consecutive year Nadal has qualified for the year-end tournament. He has held the No. 1 spot for 99 weeks, although his grasp on the top spot is tenuous because of Djokovic’s success in 2011.
A mere 45 points separates the two players, although the gap will widen next week because Djokovic’s withdrawal from the AEGON Championships in London.
The Serb will drop 20 points because he made it to the third round of the tournament last year.
Meanwhile, if Nadal advances past the quarterfinals he can widen the gap further.
Who do you think will claim the No. 1 ranking at the end of the year?