Rafael Nadal Denies Playing Rotterdam Open for World No. 1 Spot

Published 01/28/2021, 1:03 AM EST
Rafael Nadal of Spain looks dejected during his semi-final singles match against Alex de Minaur of Australia on day nine of the 2020 ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Spanish World No. 2 Rafael Nadal had recently surprised his fans, especially the ones in the Netherlands when the 34-year-old confirmed playing at the Rotterdam Open after 12 years. What’s more is that he can also become the top player in the ATP rankings given he wins the tournament.

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If Nadal is to win the Rotterdam Open, he will also stop World No. 1 Novak Djokovic from breaking another record. However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion didn’t seem to have a clue about this scenario.

“I swear to you I didn’t know that in Rotterdam I could be number one in the world. I don’t believe in destiny, each one forges it. Years ago maybe I thought about it, now I don’t,” the Spaniard said.

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(All quotes have been translated from Spanish to English via Google Translate)

Serbian ace Djokovic is only weeks away from crossing Roger Federer’s 310 record weeks spent as World No. 1. And while it looked like a cakewalk for him, Nadal has now apparently made things interesting.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 10: Rafael Nadal of Spain (L) and Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a forehand react after watching a video replay while on the sidelines during the Tie Break Tens ahead of the 2018 Australian Open at Margaret Court Arena on January 10, 2018, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Scheduled for March 1, the 48 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament will be an ATP 500 event. And until now, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Gael Monfils, and Stan Wawrinka have confirmed their participation.

Frenchman World No. 11 Monfils is also the two-time defending champion in the Netherlands. But with Rafa in the mix, the result might considerably change this year.

Will the record 13-time French Open champion try for the number 1 spot? Rafael Nadal made it clear that he is playing there only because the tournament suited his tennis calendar.

“It is never the objective directly,” Rafa said. “If the results are good to get there, fantastic and super happy, but I signed up in Rotterdam because Indian Wells is not played.”

But before he goes to the Netherlands, the Spaniard has a daunting task to pass two big tournaments in Melbourne Park.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

To begin with, the Mallorcan will play a star-studded exhibition match in Adelaide. Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, and Serena Williams will join him there.

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His real test starts in Melbourne Park with the ATP Cup and the Australian Open 2021. Last year, Team Spain reached the finals of the ATP Cup, while Nadal reached the quarterfinals of Happy Slam.

Above all, a fresh season will definitely bring fresh tennis. Now, we have to see who breaks which records in 2021.

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WATCH: Rafael Nadal Kick-Starts Australian Open 2021 Preparation With Jannik Sinner

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Purav Joshi

933 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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