Nadal tops year-end rankings after Chung victory

Victory over Chung Hyeon at the Paris Masters earned Rafael Nadal the year-end number-one ranking.

Rafael Nadal replaced Andy Murray at the top in August and has won six titles this year, including two Grand Slams and two Masters 1000 events.   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal became the oldest year-end world number one since rankings began by beating Chung Hyeon 7-5 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Masters.

The withdrawal of Roger Federer from the tournament meant victory for Nadal in this match was enough for the Spaniard to end the season at the top of the rankings for the fourth time in his career.

READ: Bopanna-Cuevas pair ousted from Paris Masters

Defeat would not have spelt the end of the 31-year-old's chances of achieving the feat, and he was put through his paces early on by his South Korean opponent.

It was Chung, 21, who broke first, going 2-1 up in the opening set before conceding four successive games to the 16-time Grand Slam champion.

ATP YEAR-END CHAMPIONS

Year    Player
2017    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2016    Andy Murray (Great Britain)
2015    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2014    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2013    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2012    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2011    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2010    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2009    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2008    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2007    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2006    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2005    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2004    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2003    Andy Roddick (U.S.)
2002    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2001    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2000    Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)

Chung hit back with a stunning break to love to get back on terms with Nadal, who then survived a break point at 5-5 as the set appeared destined for a tie-break.

However, Nadal gathered his thoughts at the change of ends and made light work of the 12th game — wrapping up the set with a win to love on Chung's serve.

 

Nadal replaced Andy Murray at the top in August and has won six titles this year, including two Grand Slams and two Masters 1000 events.

ALSO READ: Troubled Tomic offered ‘well-being’ support

The reigning French and US Open champion previously topped the rankings at the end of 2008, 2010 and 2013 and is the seventh player to do so on four or more occasions.

"I'm very, very happy for everything. It has been an amazing year. One year ago, for sure, I never dreamed about being world number one again at the end of the season. It’s something that means a lot to me. But the season is not over."

— Rafael Nadal, after finishing the season as No. 1.