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Rafael Nadal can reclaim the top spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the Coupe Rogers.

Nadal Begins No. 1 Quest In Montreal

Spaniard could unseat Andy Murray in Montreal

Rafael Nadal could reclaim his standing as World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the Coupe Rogers, but the Spaniard said he’s focused on the matches at hand for now.

A semi-final finish in Montreal will allow top seed Nadal to unseat Andy Murray in the top spot, a position he hasn’t held since July 2014. But with several tricky opponents potentially standing between him and the last four, including home favourite Milos Raonic, red-hot John Isner and the always dangerous Juan Martin del Potro, Nadal said he can’t afford to look ahead.

“I don’t even think about that now. I’m trying to have the right preparation now and that’s it,” said Nadal. “I’m going to keep trying to play the way I did in the first part of the season, so if I’m able to make that happen, I hope to have a chance to do well.”

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Nadal has enjoyed plenty of success before in Canada, winning here in 2005, 2008 and 2013. His winning record has spanned generations of ATP World Tour legends, but while many of his former peers have long since retired, he’s still going strong in one of the best seasons of his career.

“Early in my career there was Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, a lot of good players. Roger Federer was there, and Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray came a little later. That was a long time ago already, too,” joked Nadal. “The only difference is that we’re older. In the past year-and-a-half, there’s been a good new generation that increased the number of top players, but that’s sport in general.”

His resurgence in 2017, including the historic "La Decima" at Roland Garros, has been one of the most talked about storylines this season. But perhaps most impressive is that the Spaniard is still as motivated as ever to win after 16 years on tour. The 31 year old believes that the reason he and 35-year-old Federer are continuing to rack up titles this year is not only because they're fully healthy again, but also that their passion for the sport has never wavered.

“We love what we are doing. We have the passion to compete and play tennis, so that helps us to be professional and do the right things on and off the court. If you are healthy, it’s much easier to keep playing longer,” said Nadal. “The mental aspect isn’t difficult if you love the sport. We’re privileged to work for a living at one of our hobbies.” 

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