Nadal beats Chung, to end year as num­ber one

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

RAFAEL Nadal will fin­ish the year as the top-ranked player for the fourth time, sur­pris­ing even the fiercest of com­peti­tors af­ter a wrist in­jury and a lack of form se­verely dented his steely con­fi­dence.

The 31-year-old Spa­niard as­sured him­self the No. 1 rank­ing by beat­ing Hyeon Chung 7-5, 6-3 Wed­nes­day in the second round of the Paris Masters.

The 16-time Grand Slam win­ner had not fin­ished the year at the top since 2013.

Nadal is also the old­est year-end­ing No. 1, tes­ti­mony to his re­lent­less de­ter­mi­na­tion.

The only down­side this sea­son has been al­ways los­ing to Fed­erer, who leads the ATP Tour with seven ti­tles.

Nadal, who is tied for a record 30 Masters ti­tles with Djokovic, has never won the tour­na­ment in Paris. He will next face Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, who beat 15th-seeded Al­bert Ramos-vi­no­las of Spain 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-2.

Third-seeded Marin Cilic won 6-4, 6-3 against Borna Coric in an all-croa­t­ian match.

Cilic, who had 13 aces, will next play 14th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. He eased past French­man Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-1.

No. 4 Alexan­der Zverev lost to Robin Haase 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, and No. 9 John Is­ner beat Diego Schwartz­man 7-6 (2), 6-7 (11), 6-3.

Haase next plays No. 13 Juan Martin del Potro, who eased past Joao Sousa of Por­tu­gal 6-2, 6-2. The big-serv­ing Ar­gen­tine needs to win in Paris to have a chance of reach­ing the Fi­nals in Lon­don.

Is­ner, who lost last year’s fi­nal to Mur­ray, faces No. 6 Grigor Dim­itrov. He beat Richard Gas­quet 6-4, 6-4.

French­man Lu­cas Pouille kept alive his slim chances of qual­i­fy­ing for Lon­don with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Feli­ciano Lopez, but No. 12 Kevin An­der­son’s chances took a blow af­ter a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 loss to Fernando Ver­dasco.

No. 11 Jo-wil­fried Tsonga’s bid to reach Lon­don is over fol­low­ing a 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 loss to Julien Ben­neteau in an all-french match.

Ben­neteau plays No. 7 David Goffin of Belgium, who won 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 against Adrian Man­nar­ino.

Also, No. 16 Jack Sock of the United States had 14 aces in a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) win against Kyle Ed­mund and faced Pouille in yes­ter­day’s third round. – AP

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