London - Rafael Nadal is on the verge of finishing the year as the world
number one after opening his ATP World Tour Finals campaign with a 6-3,
6-2 win over David Ferrer on Tuesday.
Nadal arrived at London's O2
Arena still smarting from a surprise loss against fellow-Spaniard
Ferrer in the semi-finals of the Paris Masters on Saturday, but he was
quick to avenge that defeat with an emphatic victory in 74 minutes.
win means the 27-year-old will be guaranteed to end 2013 top of the
world rankings, ahead of Novak Djokovic, if he beats either Tomas
Berdych or Stanislas Wawrinka in his remaining Group A fixtures at the
prestigious season-ending event.
It will be the third time Nadal has finished a year as number one, but the first since 2010.
are never easy games against David Ferrer, the number three in the
world. He is great and having an amazing career," Nadal said.
played a lot better than me in Paris last week but today I played a
little bit better than him and it's important for my confidence to start
with a victory after Paris.
"The energy of this stadium is fantastic and hopefully I am ready for tomorrow (Wednesday) against Stanislas Wawrinka."
Nadal does end up in top spot, it will complete what the 13-time Grand
Slam champion regards as the most satisfying year of his illustrious
When Nadal returned in February after a seven-month battle
to recover from tendinitis in his knee, his ranking had dropped to
number five in the world -- his lowest position since 2005 -- and he was
worried if he would ever recapture his top form.
But he showed no
signs of having lost a step as he stormed to his eighth French Open
title and then won the US Open, as well as claiming eight other titles.
his place among the elite firmly re-established, a maiden triumph at
the Tour Finals would be the perfect way to cap the campaign.
had this week called for the Tour Finals to be played on a different
surface each year to be fair to players who specialise in clay and grass
court tennis, but he looked comfortable enough on the O2 Arena's hard
courts as he broke Ferrer in the opening game of the match.
had won just five of his 25 meetings with Nadal, although he was
unbeaten in their only two previous indoor encounters, and the world
number three hit back with an immediate break of his own.
the last time the 31-year-old really troubled Nadal, who was gifted
another break for a 4-2 lead thanks to a pair of careless forehands from
the out-of-sorts Ferrer, who made 33 unforced errors in total.
Nadal continued to blitz Ferrer with his booming backhands and broke again to take the set.
was looking increasingly unsettled by Nadal's barrage and he cracked
again in the second game of the second set before another break for a
4-0 lead which effectively sealed the world number one's win.
had claimed he wasn't concerned about finishing top of the rankings,
but his fist-pumping celebration and broad grin when he converted his
second match point suggested otherwise.
Results from the second day of the ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt David Ferrer (ESP x3) 6-3, 6-2
Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) v Roger Federer (SUI x6)
Leander Paes/Radek Stepanek (IND/CZE x7) bt Alexander Peya/Bruno Soares (AUT/BRA) 6-3, 5-7, 10/8
Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA/USA x1) v Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo (CRO/BRA x3)