Number one ‘clearly not a goal’ for Rafael Nadal declares coach
Rafael Nadal is not targeting a return to the top of the ATP rankings according to coach and former world number one Carlos Moya.
Despite crashing out in the US Open fourth round to home favourite Frances Tiafoe, the 22-time Slam champion is still in with a chance of returning to world number one for the ninth time once competition wraps in New York.
However, 1998 French Open champions Moya has stressed that Nadal is more focused on his physical and mental fitness, particularly for the Slams, above all else.
“Being number one again has a lot of value. Ending the year at the top of the rankings, even more so,” Moya admitted to the ATP. “If you look at his schedule, it’s clear that it’s not a goal.
“The most important thing for him is looking after his body and being well for the Grand Slams. But if it’s put in front of him, of course we’ll go for it.”
With Nadal out, he can only become world number one if neither Carlos Alcaraz nor Casper Ruud reaches the US Open final. If the two men meet in the championship match, Nadal will remain at his current ranking of world number three.
If he were to become number one, the Spaniard would be the second oldest player to top the men’s rankings at just over 36 years and three months old, about seven months short of the record held by long-time rival Roger Federer, achieved by the Swiss back in June 2018.
Nadal is unsure of his next steps as he returns home to reassess after a tough and tiring 2022 season so far.
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