Rafael Nadal Not Focused On No. 1 Ranking In Beijing, Just Focused On Playing Well
by Tom Gainey | September 30th, 2013, 9:38 pm

Rafael Nadal is on the brink of returning to the No. 1 ranking but the Spaniard, as is the norm, isn’t interested in such statistical marks. He just wants to play well.

If current No. 1 Novak Djokovic fails to defend his Beijing title or if Nadal reaches the final, Rafa will return to the top ranking.

“I don’t know what is exactly the result that I need to do to become No. 1, but the only way I can do it is playing my best,” Nadal told the Beijing media over the weekend. “I am going to think day by day, as I do always. I will see if I have that chance. I know that my opponent is unbelievable. He’s able to not lose many matches during the whole season. Will be very tough to become No. 1.

“But if I am still playing the same way that I did the last couple of months, I hope to have my chance here or in the next few weeks.But it’s something that not worries me today. Only thing that I am focus on is try to keep playing well.”

Nadal brings a 26-match hardcourt winning streak into his first round match against Santiago Giraldo. A streak, Nadal says, is not normal.

“Normal thing is not, because normal thing is not win every match of your season on a surface like this one that the matches are close, the opponents are very good,” Nadal said. “So normal thing is not maintain the level that I play at in North America in the three tournaments.”

Rafa, who’s won his last four hardcourt tournaments (US Open, Cincinnati, Canada and Indian Wells), is playing in Beijing for the first time since 2009. Nadal also won the Olympic gold their in 2008.

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32 Comments for Rafael Nadal Not Focused On No. 1 Ranking In Beijing, Just Focused On Playing Well

The Great Davy Says:

Indoor mug is balding like his daddy. I can play like 300 year old and beat Nadal indoors like easy.

Perfect fan Says:

I seriously believe that rafa this year is going to put every critics notions to rest about his ability to win indoors….i mean thats his plan for sure….whenever anyone writes him off with comments like “he cannot do this or that”….he takes it very seriously to prove that notion wrong. I am sure he’s gonna win the WTF this year to put the icing on to the cake of his perf. this season.

At least then, i would expect the rafanatics to start valuing the WTF….which is such an incredible tournament for players and fans alike.

Giles Says:

Vamos Champ! The number ONE is yours, go get it!!

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Rafas been the best player this year,so i suppose it would be only fair for him to get the number 1 ranking,the same is it was for Novak in 2011 and 2012,it always seems fair that the player who has had the best year,holds the number 1 ranking at the end of the year,even though it doesnt always pan out like that,JMO.

Michael Says:

Although technically Novak is still No.1, he knows well that it is Rafa who deserves that position today in the light of his phenomenal performance during the course of this year by winning two majors and a stream of Master titles. Rafa has dominated 2013 like a phoenix and it is a star studded performance rarely seen before except during Roger’s dominance in 2006, 2007 and for Rafa to replicate that after all that he went through is celebrity stuff. The year has still not ended and it would be interesting to see if Novak can hold on to that edge and still be year end No.1. He can do that if he can win Shanghai and WTF titles. For Nadal, he would’nt mind even if he doesn’t finish as No.1. He has achieved more than he could hope for and the way he dominated the hard courts this year is exceptional.

tennisfan Says:

Unless Rafa decides not to play anymore in 2013, Novak has no chance of being No.1

Okiegal Says:

Rafa will do what Rafa does best……play with determination to win one match at a time…..I really don’t think he worries about rankings…..that is where the pressure of staying number 1 comes into play. He has always played better when he was # 2 or #3.

Vamos, Rafa!!

hawkeye Says:

Even if Nole wins Shanghai and WTF, he would still have less points than Rafa has already accumulated this year.

Hamza Says:

Even if Nole loses the number 1 ranking, if he can get good results in the upcoming masters and win the Australian Open, he’d position himself nicely for an assault in 2014. Rafa will have TONS of points to defend. On the flip side, Rafa will probably try to get great results in Australian open, his clay swing and Wimbledon next year. So even if Rafa does not win that many hard court events next year, he could still be in a great position to defend the number 1 ranking if he does well in AO and Wimbledon.

2013 has been phenomenal in terms of his hard-court performance. It’s amazing that he’s actually won more hard-court masters titles this year than the clay ones. Who’d imagine he’d lose in Monte Carlo and win Montreal and Cincy back to back (and the US open of course) ? He’s got the momentum this year, and it would be great if he tops it off with one more masters title and the Year-end-championships. He’s set the bar so high this year, his fans will be expecting MORE from him next year. I hope he relishes the expectations his fans have.

SG1 Says:

Rafa’s flying. With the adjustment to his backhand, he seems to have found a way to keep the stress off his bad knee. If Rafa can manage his schedule properly, he’ll be fine for a while.

Still think Nole will bounce back with a huge year in 2014.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Nole may bounce back in 2014 by having another great year like he did in 2011,however i think those type of years tend to be 1 offs,although thats not to say he wont have a solid year,this year has been a solid year as hes won a slam and been in 3 finals,the thing is hes now facing new challenges like a new and improved Rafa,also when facing Murray hes now facing a player whos a two time GS champion ,and not some mental midget anymore,Murray is up to the task of taking on Nole and any of the big big boys now,he wasnt at his best at the USO,but it was clear for all to see how much he was struggling with his back.

Steve 27 Says:

27 in a row in hardcourt. And the nest is?

Steve 27 Says:

and the next is?

Hamza Says:

On a side note, Nalbandian retired. When hot, Nalbandian was a treat to watch. I’ll miss the guy. Atleast linesmen won’t have to worry about getting kicked on their shins :).

Good luck to him for his future endeavors.

Steve 27 Says:

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi said this week that they believe Roger Federer is the best player of all‑time, but that you will likely overtake him eventually. Can you comment on that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, just can say thank you very much to them for the comments. It’s something difficult to imagine for me. I never thought about that. All my career I went day by day and tournament by tournament, year by year.
Here we were 27 years old and it’s much more than what I ever dreamed. So I’m going to try to keep working hard. If I’m able to do it, I am able to be healthy and to compete well for the next four years, I going to try to create opportunities to keep wining in important tournaments.
If that happens, I will have the chance to keep being in the top. If I am in the top, I will have a chance to win more tournaments. But to overtake Roger is something that nobody beat in I don’t know how many years of history. So going to be a big coincidence if that happens in a period of ten years.
The normal thing is that will not happen. But if that happens or that not happens, only thing I am sure is when I am going to leave this tour, I am going to be very happy about what I did. I tried everything in every practice, in every match. I gave everything.
When you try your best everyday, that’s all that you can do. I think I did. So that’s why I am gonna be happy.

Anna Says:

whether he beats Roger’s record or not the important thing for Rafa is that he gave it his all in every match. Those who are not Nadal fans can’t fathom that he doesn’t live and breath to best Roger, but those who are fans know that he lives and celebrates in the moment. So few of us really know how to do that. In fact, it might be that very characteristic that ultimately takes him to the top. Just my opinion.

Steve 27 Says:

This is a classic:
Rafael Nadal funny tennis moments

Perfect fan Says:

@ Great Davy:

U seriously don’t wanna play nadal anymore, it seems….can’t believe, u gave a bye to Berdych.

Another hopeful and exciting matchup for me go down the sewers…. :(

I am sure davy won’t play an exo even with nadal….rafa gotta do something to convince davy now pretty soon….before great davy retires with a wicked smile on his face >:)

Giles Says:

@Steve 27. Here’s a collection of funny Rafa interviews. Enjoy.

Perfect fan Says:

Seems….the “who-is-GOAT twister” has passed……for good. An eerie calmness has prevailed.

Ooooopssss……did I jus poked a stick to the sleeping beast..??

Ruuuunnnnnnnnnnn for ur life guys. ;)

the DA Says:

This match between Kohls and Rafa is very entertaining so far. Two breaks and immediate break-backs already. Funny how Kohls often seems to play Rafa tough but can’t seem to close the deal.

Giles Says:

@the DA. Not watching. Who is the umpire?

metan Says:

Sayonara Philip.

Vamos Rafa into the next round.

hawkeye Says:

T-minus two matches to Number 1.

Vamos Rafa!

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Nice win against a very tough opponent,well done Rafa,still unbeaten on the HCs this year ;)..

Giles Says:

Andy Murray keeping busy tweeting!

Polo Says:

How many top tennis players maintained their pre-marriage peak?

the DA Says:

@ Giles – Sorry, I was so immersed in the match – which was great – and only now saw your post. It sounded like Fergus Murphy (who Rafa wasn’t too pleased with. 2 time violations). Didn’t stop him from getting the job done.

Giles Says:

@the DA. Thanks for that. Rafa isn’t one of Murphy’s favourites, they’ve had run-ins before now. Yes, glad Rafa got the job done.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Anna 1st October 6.15pm,great post totally agree.

Okiegal Says:

I think Rafa’s funniest video is the one where he had lost to Gonzalez at the Aussie open he said I have pain…..pointing to his backside…..in my famous ass…..that is classic. His expression was priceless. He is so dang cute!!

Vamos Rafa……win the China Open.

Top story: Nadal Dominates In Monte Carlo Clay Debut, Dimitrov Next; Djokovic Returns Thurs.