Nadal beats Chung to guarantee ending the year as No. 1

Kristopher Nichols
November 2, 2017

Rafael Nadal defeated Hyeon Chung 7-5 6-3 to win his opening match at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Paris.

"Of course it was not the goal (at the start of the year)", said Nadal, who achieved the feat of becoming No 1 once again after doing so in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

"I think it's a very important achievement and is (an) important achievement in itself", he said.

The Spaniard has enjoyed a fabulous season, winning two Grand Slam titles along the way, and the French and US Open champion made no mistake in pipping his great rival Roger Federer to the prestigious year-end top spot. It has been an unbelievable year. And very happy of course.

"Very happy for everything, it has been an fantastic year", the 16-time Grand Slam champion said.

"It means a lot".

After breaks were exchanged in the early stages, Nadal then rallied from a 0/40 deficit before breaking Chung to lead 4-2.

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Pouille, the champion in Vienna last weekend, eased to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez while Isner, who would need to win the title in Paris to stand a chance, was a 7-6 (2), 6-7 (11), 6-3 victor over Diego Schwartzman.

The No 1 will next face Pablo Cuevas in the last 16, after the unseeded Uruguayan edged out Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-1) 6-2.

Bulgarian world number eight Grigor Dimitrov, who has already booked his ticket for the Tour Finals, knocked out French favourite Richard Gasquet with a straightforward 6-4, 6-4 win.

A raft of injuries had left many thinking that Nadal was a spent force at the end of past year, but he stormed back to prominence by claiming six titles ahead of Paris and the season-ending ATP Finals in London.

The 29-year-old was 47th in the points standings before the US Open in August, but an excellent run of form during which he reached the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows and won the Stockholm Open title has dragged him back into contention.

The Rome Masters and Montreal Masters champion fell to Dutchman Robin Haase in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 second-round defeat.

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